Unifying Naira’s exchange rate will take time, Nigerian Govt tells World Bank

Unifying Naira’s exchange rate will take time, Nigerian Govt tells World Bank

The Nigerian government has said that unifying the exchange rate of Naira will not happen “overnight”.

Explaining its delay in securing a further $1.5 billion credit from the World Bank, the finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, said the government has taken steps to meet the lender’s requirements but said its insistence that the gap between the spot and the parallel market rates be closed will take time.

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“Our point is that it’s not what you do overnight,” Mrs Ahmed told journalists on Thursday. “It’s not that you wake up and make a pronouncement and that happens. It’s something that you have to do overtime taking several measures and working systematically for it to happen.”

“So, we are still pushing our view with the World Bank and we hope to convince them that this requirement has been met and that they should now give us the approval to go ahead and release the $1.5 billion that we have been discussing with the World Bank. But having said that, the World Bank during 2020 has also given us approval for a number of facilities. One of them is the $500million for metering system for the distribution network, $750 million for the power sector recovery programme, and several other facilities that we have on the table with the World Bank that were approved during the course of the year 2020.”

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She also spoke about other subjects such as the rise in the price of crude oil, the government’s debt, and the plan to present a supplementary budget.

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