Osinbajo says he never called for devaluation of the Naira

According to the vice president, the real issue confronting the Nigerian economy is how to improve the supply of foreign exchange.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. [Twitter/@GvNigeria]

There have been several reports this week where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was said to have called for the devaluation of the Naira, as the country's currency continues to sink in value.

However, in a statement signed by his spokesperson Laolu Akande, the vice president said the reports were a mis-characterisation.

"Our attention has been drawn to statements and reports in the media mis-characterising as a call for devaluation, the view of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the Naira exchange rate was being kept artificially low.

"Prof. Osinbajo is not calling for the devaluation of the Naira. He has at all times argued against a willy-nilly devaluation of the Naira.

"For context, the vice president’s point was that currently, the Naira exchange rate benefits only those who are able to obtain the dollar at N410, some of who simply turn round and sell to the parallel market at N570.

"It is stopping this huge arbitrage of over N160 per dollar that the vice president was talking about. Such a massive difference discourages doing proper business, when selling the dollar can bring in 40% profit!

"This was why the vice president called for measures that would increase the supply of foreign exchange in the market rather than simply managing demand, which opens up irresistible opportunities for arbitrage and corruption."

The statement adds that the real issue confronting the Nigerian economy is how to improve the supply of foreign exchange. "But this will not happen if we do not allow mechanisms like the Importers and Exporters window to work.

"If we allow this market mechanism to work as intended, we will find that the Naira will appreciate against the dollar as we restore confidence in the system," he added.

The diminishing value of the Naira has led to spiralling inflation in the market.

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