The Federal Government will be injecting $10billion into the nation’s foreign exchange market in coming weeks.
Minister of Finance, Wale Edun who disclosed this at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) meeting yesterday, October 23, said the money will clear outstanding obligations on forward contracts and also to boost foreign reserves.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who also attended the 29th edition of the NESG meeting said his “government will uphold the sanctity of every legitimate contract, consistent with our commitment to enshrining fairness and the rule of law in the country”.
“Specifically, as it relates to foreign exchange obligations of the government, all forward contracts that the government has entered will be honoured and a framework has been put in place to ensure that these obligations are met in due course.
“We will have to come to effect as soon as possible. I task my team and my colleagues to build this programme, develop it now. We cannot talk about anti-corruption when you have to look for cash to buy a car, when there’s no mortgage for homeownership.
“Where do you expect a civil servant to have N3 million or N5 million for housing without corruption? If you don’t change and plan the welfare of your judiciary and you ask them to be fair, render justice with mercy, with a hungry stomach?”
Tinubu also revealed that Nigeria aims to achieve a $1 trillion economy by 2026 and $3 trillion within this decade through sustainable and competitive growth. He further stated that the private sector is crucial to achieving this goal.
“The private sector is encouraged to bring their ideas, leadership, and capital to build a hopeful future.
“I am confident that by working closely with all of you in the private sector, financing our $3 trillion National Infrastructure Stock can be achieved in 10 years and not in 300 years.
“Building megacities in every geopolitical zone of the size and scale of Lagos must not take us another six decades. We can do it in one decade. A fully networked and connected Nigeria by rail, gas, fibre optics and road network can be constructed in less than 20 years. Establishing thriving Industrial zones in every part of Nigeria is possible before 2030”.
Edun also revealed that the goals of the new forex market will be the simplification, digitalization, and regulation with the aim of creating a formal market where all legal and legitimate transactions will be actualised.
“As part of a wider review, there’s a revamping of the foreign exchange market such that the foreign exchange market will be simplified, it will be digitalised and will be reformed, such that all legal and legitimate transactions will fall within the purview of the authorities and a formal market. Anything outside that will be illegal and will be a criminal offense and will be punished.
“This will be robustly followed up, so that if you want to pay school fees, if you want to pay a health bill, it will be simplified. And you’ll be able to just provide perhaps an identity such as a BVN or NIN and you do your transaction, it will be formal”.
The Minister added that all legal and legitimate foreign exchange transactions will now be part of a formal market, regulated by the authorities. He also said that any currency exchange activity outside this formal market will be considered illegal and may lead to criminal consequences and punishments.