Nigeria's Emefiele to Tackle Currency Speculation, Saraki Says

Nigeria’s central bank plans to tackle currency speculation as the naira faces mounting exchange-rate pressure amid a slump in crude oil prices, Senate President Bukola Saraki said.

Saraki, along with other lawmakers, met Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday in Abuja, the capital, to discuss the pressure on the national currency. Emefiele gave assurance that while measures will be taken to curb currency speculation, “the central bank has no intention to confiscate dollars” deposited by bank customers, Saraki said.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, depends on crude exports for two-thirds of government revenue and more than 90 percent of foreign-exchange income. Emefiele has come under criticism for trying to curb foreign-exchange demand while refusing to devalue the naira. The currency has exchanged within the band of 197 naira to 199 naira per dollar in banks since March last year while reaching 300 naira in the parallel market used by most importers.

“I explained the reasons for the monetary policies and some of the decisions we took. I’m glad the senators understood,” Emefiele told reporters after the meeting.

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