Come up with strategy to stop naira depreciation, Edwin Clark tells CBN

Edwin Clark, convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should come up with measures to mitigate naira depreciation while redesigning the currency notes.


The CBN recently announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flow.


The apex bank aims to redesign the N200, N500 and N1000 notes — with circulation expected to begin mid-December.


Speaking in an interview with NAN, Clark urged Godwin Emefiele, governor of CBN, to put short-term plans in place to curb the negative effects on the naira during the redesigning process.


He said the rise in the exchange rate is one of the likely effects.


At the start of trading on Thursday, the naira traded between N800 and N810 per dollar at the parallel market in parts of the country.


“On the redesigning of the naira, I am not a financial expert to say whether the decision was right or wrong but reports have it that the exchange rate further increased the moment the announcement was made,” Clark said.


“The advice I will give on this is that the CBN governor and other relevant stakeholders should come up with a short-term measure that will mitigate the effect of this development.


“Something urgent has to be done to prevent the naira from falling beyond what it is today.


“As we speak today, the rising cost of food is worrisome and something has to be done to stabilise the situation.”


Speaking on brain drain, Clark expressed concern over reports on the growing number of Nigerians, especially youths, relocating to other countries.


The Ijaw leader said the trend is resulting in increased brain drain, describing it as “very bad’’.


Clark, therefore, urged the government to put necessary measures in place to create a conducive environment to encourage youths to work in Nigeria and contribute to the country’s growth.


He also asked the government to do more to secure the lives and property of Nigerians.


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