February 27, 2024

CBN Governor Attributes Naira Pressure to Rise in School and Medical Tourism

 

By: Emmanuel Ibitoye

 

Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), highlighted that the escalating exchange rate between the naira and dollar is primarily attributed to the surge in Nigerian students studying abroad and the increasing number of medical trips by Nigerians. Cardoso addressed this during the ongoing sectoral debate organized by the House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday.

 

Expressing concerns about the high cost of living, Cardoso assured that the CBN is actively working on long-term solutions to reduce inflation to 21.4 percent, focusing on enhanced agricultural productivity. He emphasized the need to address exchange rate volatility through improved liquidity, acknowledging that these measures come with temporary economic costs.

 

Cardoso underscored the rising demand for dollars, driven by the growing number of Nigerian students studying abroad, projected to surpass 100,000 by 2022, amounting to $28.6 billion. Additionally, he noted that education and medical tourism contribute significantly to the heightened demand for dollars.

 

During the sectoral debate, Zacch Adedeji, the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), clarified that the federal government does not intend to increase taxes. Instead, the focus is on strategic restructuring to broaden the tax base, aiming for a targeted collection of N19.2 trillion.

 

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, assured that the government has a strategic plan to overcome current economic challenges, emphasizing that reforms are underway. Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, acknowledged that the nation’s economic status is a result of cumulative economic policies over the years, contributing to increased costs of living due to inflation.

 

Edun highlighted the president’s commitment to addressing major impediments to economic growth and mentioned positive developments such as improved security in oil-producing areas, enhanced oil production, and increased investor confidence. He called for calm, confidence, and faith in the government’s ability to revitalize the economy for the prosperity of citizens.

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