Lawmakers Grill CBN Governor, Cardoso Over Free Fall of Naira (Video)
The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, CBN, Yemi Cardoso has blamed the free fall of naira on the growing number of Nigerians studying abroad.
He said this when he faced a very hostile crowd on Tuesday during his appearance before the House of Representatives for the sectoral debate.
Many of the lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the governor in handling the naira which has been on a downward spiral in the past couple of months.
Cardoso, in his presentation before the House, explained the challenges facing the naira including the pressure from demand by students studying outside the country.
He stated that over 100,000 students are currently studying outside the country, adding that the Nigerian students spent $28.5 billion outside the country between 2010 and 2020.
Mr Cardoso said Nigerians also spent $11.06 billion on medical tourism within the same period.
“Foreign education expenses amounted to a substantial US$28.65 billion, as per the CBNs’ publicly available Balance of Payments Statistics,” he said.
Many of the lawmakers who spoke at the session, expressed concern on the handling of the naira, relocation of some CBN departments to Lagos and removal of 43 items from the FX window.
A member of the House, Sada Soli said the lifting of the ban would lead to importation of items Nigerians can produce locally.
“The removal would lead to the importation of cement and other items into this country,” Soli, a lawmaker from Katsina State said.
Responding to the 43 items, Mr Cardoso said the Central Bank backed the removal of the items because it is the duty of the Ministry of Finance import and export policies.
“CBN does not have a responsibility to determine who imports or not, for that reason we want to ensure that we abide by our remit.
“The issue is not for us to determine. That is a fiscal issue, it has nothing to do with us. We are going back to do what we are supposed to be doing,” he said.
The response of the minister caused a mild uproar in the House and it took the intervention of the presiding officer, Ben Kalu to calm some of the lawmakers.
“You have been honourable since, please let us allow him to answer the question,” Kalu told the lawmakers.
He was subsequently allowed to exit the chamber after the Q and A session.
CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso, Blames Forex (Naira) Woes on Growing Number of Nigerians Studying Abroad. https://t.co/F3XQRc935r pic.twitter.com/FzXO58jQhQ
— Spotlight Abby (@Spotlight_Abby) February 6, 2024
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