President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's inner circle played a key role in his 11 March decision not to run for a fifth term amidst vast national protests calling for the end of this presidency and the system that has kept him in place.
IMF calls for further devaluation of Nigeria’s currency
The pressure from the IMF on Nigeria’s currency is triggered by President Muhammadu Buhari’s long-awaited Cabinet appointments, which are five months overdue, and do not include economic champions to mastermind much-needed reform.
They are already making it harder for the average person to buy milk
“There’s no economist on the (Cabinet) list that can suggest to the government ways to improve revenue generation and how to run the economy,” Garba Kurfi, managing director of APT Securities and Funds, told reporters.
Last year, Nigeria’s central bank devalued the naira by 8 per cent in November, and then fixed the official exchange rate at 198 to the US dollar.
The Nigerian central bank also restricted access to foreign currency and banned a long list of imports to save the naira.
However, the International Monetary Fund’s Africa director, Antoinette Sayeh has said the restrictions are instead, “quite detrimental”.
“They are already making it harder for the average person to buy milk,” she said at the just concluded IMF annual meeting in Peru.
Saveh called for a review of the restrictions and for officials to “permit the exchange rate to continue to adjust”.
The IMF is pessimistic about Nigeria’s chances of turning its political and economic situation around and has urged the country to further devalue its currency.
According to reports, the naira has lost 25 per cent of its value in the past year and the stock market plunged by a fifth last year and by 14 per cent this year.
Political uncertainty and the falling oil prices have been identified as cause of the current naira devaluation.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer and economy continues to face turbulent times in the monetary market.
Currently one dollar sells at 222 naira at exchange bureaus.