By Nengi GREEN
The Federal Government has explained that it is working to fix the foreign exchange crisis in Nigeria as well as addressing macro-economic impediments to tackle inflation.
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, gave the assurance to investors on the sidelines of the Group 20 (G20) summit in India on Sunday, Edun expressed Nigeria’s perspective and commitment to building a stronger, sustainable, and resilient economy.
The minister’s address during the Nigeria-India presidential roundtable, was captured in a short clip posted by the finance ministry on X — formerly Twitter.
Edun said the government has taken steps to improve the business environment, including removing foreign exchange restrictions and streamlining the investment approval process.
He urged investors to take advantage of the opportunities that Nigeria has to offer.
“Our focus is on attracting global capital, promoting foreign direct investments and this underscores our commitment to job creation, economic diversification, and revenue expansion,” Edun said.
“Nigeria is an attractive destination for business. It is brimming with opportunities across the various sectors.
“The major macroeconomic impediments to the stability of the exchange rate, of inflation, of interest rates and indeed of obstacles to liquidity, to enough financing, are now in the process of being removed.
“Driving inclusivity, including women and young people in what is going on in the economy and having them play their role.
“For those interested in investing, the playing field has been levelled, it has been cleared of debris and the opportunity is now there for you to seize.”
Early in September, the minister had said that the last time the foreign exchange rate was stable, and interest rates were affordable, was a decade ago.
Edun who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja had noted that a weak, depreciating exchange rate, as well as security concerns, resulted in an economy “that is not growing and that is not lifting our Nigerians out of poverty.
“If we think back to when was the last time when the economy was stable, when it was growing, when inflation was low, when the exchange rate was stable, and when interest rates were affordable; that period was about a decade ago,” he said.
The minister said “economic growth was about 6 percent around 2013 to 2014”.
The increase, according to Ebun, was due to the worldwide commodity boom that began around 2010.
“Oil prices were high; volumes were high,” he said.
To address the FX issue, he had advised the government to accommodate other sources of funding, such as foreign direct investment, as well as domestic investment by Nigerians in all areas.
“And we saw some of that in Lagos. When Mr. President was governor of Lagos, he opened up the power sector to private investment, the road sector to private investment infrastructure, waste management, even cemeteries to private investment, because government did not have the funds,” he said.