The Exclusive Dialogue jointly hosted by the Nigerian Economic Summit group (NESG) and the Policy Development Facility, Phase II (PDF II), held a UKaid programme on the new CBN Forex use policy which was introduced on the 23rd of June 2015.

The event held at Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Lagos on 30 September, 2015 kicked off with a welcome address by Laoye Jaiyeola the NESG CEO, followed by a brief address from the representative of the CBN Governor, Mr. Moses Tule, Director Monetary Policy Department. The event featured two panel discussion sessions Chaired by Mr. Bismarck Rewane, who surgically examined the state of the Nigerian economy.

Dr Ajayi during her discussion of the policy said that while she appreciates that Nigeria is in a crisis which requires urgent attention, this policy cannot be a permanent approach to the problem. CBN needs to sit down with other Ministries and determine what the economic policy for the country will be in the short term, medium term, and long term.

The panelists and attendees were of the ‘general’ opinion that the CBN did not communicate its objectives clearly when introducing its policy which is a major reason for the backlash it is facing.

The DG of SMEDAN Mr. Bature Umar Masari while giving his address stated that this policy will directly impact on job creation and that he hopes this discussion gets to the president of the country. “…for Nigeria to grow and survive, we as a nation need business in Nigeria to grow and survive as well “ he said.

The Comptroller General of customs at the Apapa Port also decried the huge loss of revenue this policy has caused for the customs statistically revealing a 70% drop in revenue generation by the Nigerian Customs Service.

Mr Moses Tule of the CBN explained that the economy of Nigeria desperately needs to be revamped. He also stated that even though the policy had already been introduced by the CBN, the apex bank is still open to dialogue. Mr. Tule said, “…when you dialogue you don’t have a fixed position, you have to listen to both sides. The Central Bank Government does recognize that the policy exclusion of 41 items from funding through Forex appears to be unpopular with the business community in Nigeria.” He likened the policy to the pains and pangs of child birth.

Dr. Titilola Akindeinde of the PDF II while giving her closing remarks  thanked all present and importantly noted that this policy however emotive could be counterproductive to the economic growth of the nation, She appealed to the CBN to listen to the voices of all stakeholders as it does the job of setting monetary policy for Nigeria.

Watch Pulse TV video for highlights of the event.