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Kenneth Okonkwo knocks CBN’s forex management amid economic struggles

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Labour Party stalwart, Kenneth Okonkwo, has taken a swipe at the Central Bank of Nigeria for its handling of the foreign exchange market, asserting that effective forex management should lead to economic stability and prosperity.

In an interview on Channels Television’s program Inside Sources with Laolu Akande, Okonkwo expressed his discontent, stating, “I do not think the CBN understands what it is doing.”

He emphasized the critical link between forex management and economic well-being, stressing that stability, rather than high or low exchange rates, is the ultimate measure of success.

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“The success of the forex management is in its ability to ensure stability and sustenance, not whether it is high or low. The greatest threat to the economy is uncertainty,” he remarked.

Okonkwo, who previously served as the spokesperson for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign, asserted that it is the responsibility of the CBN to uphold macroeconomic sustainability.

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He criticized the current government, accusing it of subjecting manufacturers to macroeconomic volatility, exacerbated by forex instability, high diesel prices, and recent electricity tariff hikes.

Highlighting the plight of Nigerians amidst the economic turmoil, Okonkwo pointed out the soaring prices of food and basic commodities, fueled by policies such as petrol subsidy removal and forex window unification.

Despite the recent appreciation of the naira against the dollar, with a gain of over 40%, Nigerians are yet to witness significant relief, as inflation remains high at 33.20%, and interest rates stand at 24.75%.

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While the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, has expressed optimism about the economy’s direction, citing a slowdown in food inflation, Okonkwo’s critique underscores growing concerns about the disconnect between forex policies and economic realities on the ground.

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