On Wednesday, the naira crashed to an all-time low of ₦925/$1 on the parallel market. The Lagos parallel market recorded a steeper figure of ₦955/$1 on Friday.
Several factors, including net forex inflow and the decline in dollar supply, have been cited for the plunge. However, all of these factors can be traced back to the newly implemented exchange policy of the Tinubu-led government.
On June 19, the CBN removed multiple exchange rates in the Investor and Exporters Window, in line with Tinubu’s promise during his inaugural speech.
Also, the president had, on multiple occasions, reiterated his decision to stand by the unification of the naira exchange rates.
However, Tinubu’s disposition towards currency exchange has not always been this strong. FIJ takes a look at the president’s opinion on the subject matter over the last 6 years.
FEBRUARY 2017: TINUBU DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE EXCHANGE RATE
On February 6, 2017, President Tinubu stated that he was not worried about the exchange rate in his response to protesting youths.
The youths, under the aegis of the #IstandwithNigeria movement, had taken Tinubu’s residence to protest what they described as “the sad turn of events in the country”.
“I am not worried about the exchange rate because your salary should be in naira and you are not an importer. Maybe that is even teaching us a lesson to be dependent on our domestic product,” Tinubu said.
FEBRUARY 2023: TINUBU THROWS JAB AT BUHARI OVER DOLLAR RATE
In February, in the heat of Tinubu’s campaign in Cross River State, he complained about the government’s attitude towards the exchange rate under the Buhari-led administration.
Speaking to the crowd in Calabar, Tinubu pointed out the inaction of the government as the reason for naira depreciation.
“Today, they moved the exchange rate from N200 to N800. If they had repaired it, if they had arrested this, we won’t be where we are today, we will be greater. They don’t know the way, they don’t know how to think, they don’t know how to do,” he said at the campaign.
The naira had fallen sharply against the dollar at a rate of ₦800/$1 four months prior to this statement.
JUNE 2023: TINUBU SAID HE COULD BENEFIT FROM MULTIPLE EXCHANGE RATES IF HE WANTED
President Tinubu was quoted to have said that he unified rates to save the country while speaking on his unification policy on June 30.
He made this assertion at a civic engagement at the Lagos State Government house. He said that he could have maintained the multiple rates and benefited from it but he opted otherwise to rescue Nigeria.
“I could afford to share the benefit by participating in the arbitrage, but God forbid! That’s not why you voted for me,” he said.
According to Google’s visuals of the financial market, the official exchange rate stood at ₦769.2000/$1 on Friday afternoon.