The federal government has announced plans to automate transactions in the entire foreign exchange market in order to close wide arbitrage and punish naira speculators.
Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, made the revealation at the first panel session of the 29th Nigeria Economic Summit (#NES29) in Abuja, on Monday.
According to him, all dealings in the foreign exchange market – from the official to the parallel market where huge arbitrage has consistently occurred – would be thoroughly monitored, adding that offenders would be fished out and punished.
He also disclosed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed two executive orders last week.
“One of them is an executive order that allows forbearance for all the cash in the economy to come in and formally boost the money supply legally.
“There’s another executive order that allows domestic issuance of foreign currency issues so that it will allow incentive to provide that foreign exchange for whatever source,” he said.
The minister said a plan to revamp the foreign exchange market would be unfolded.
He admitted that Nigeria’s foreign exchange market was not functioning effectively due to illiquidity, saying that the government was prepared to do everything required to change the status quo.
“Foreign exchange market will be simplified and reformed such that all legal and legitimate transactions will fall within the purview of the authorities and in the formal foreign exchange market. Anything outside that will be illegal, a criminal offence and will be punishable,” Edun said.