Mr. Moses Tule, Director of Monetary Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stoutly defended the recent restrictions placed on forex by the apex bank, saying it is a move to stem gradual erosion of value of the Naira.

The CBN had placed a ban on importers of certain commodities from accessing foreign exchange from the forex window. Tule was a guest speaker at a Forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) that sought to bring together the regulator and the private sector to discuss urgent and topical issues that have implications for the economy.

Tule said without such forex policy, the country would have been in complete mess and would have required the kind of bailout Greece is
suffering right now.

He condemned the practice of round-tripping of foreign currency by some unscrupulous manufacturers who obtain forex from the CBN at official rate, send the fund abroad without the intention of importing goods. He said such funds are never repatriated.

“Some importers even demand for forex for items they want to buy in the next two years,” he said. Tule therefore enjoined the populace, particularly manufacturers and importers, to support CBN’s efforts at sanitising the forex market and ensuring that foreign currencies only
get to those who need them.

He reiterated that there is a clear and present danger to the economy caused by falling oil prices and declining government revenue and that the managers of the economy must make hard choices that would lead to economic stability.