AN ANALYSIS ON THE PERSISTENT DEPRECIATION OF THE NAIRA IN THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE MARKETS CAUSES, EFFECTS AND SOLUTIONS.
PROPOSAL This work titled analysis of the persistent depreciation of the naira in the foreign exchange market: Causes, eects and solutions. Captures the performance of Nigeria economy in the face of the continuous depreciation of the naira. The major objective of the study is to determine the eects of the depreciation on Nigeria growth. The data to be used for this work is the secondary source of data due to the nature of the research. The constraints that will be encountered in the course of this study include: High cost of text books, transportation cost, time factor refusal of oicials to oer their full support and co-operation. Findings also will show that some causes of depreciation of the naira value include undue dependence on the oil sector and deficit spending by the government. It is therefore to be recommended that there should be strict adherence to CBN’S monetary policy guidelines by both private and public sector. The monetary authorities should intervene periodically in the foreign exchange market to achieve strategic objectives.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Foreign exchange is the means of payment for international transactions and it is made up of convertible currencies that are generally acceptable for the settlement of international trade and other external obugations. The foreign exchange market is an arrangement or medium of interaction between the sellers and buyers of foreign exchange in a bid to negotiate a mutually acceptable price for the settlement of international transactions (ile 1999: 325) Afolabi (1999) defined exchange rate as the price of one currency in terms of the other. In other words, it is the rate at which one currency will exchange for another. In the pre-babangida administration years the Nigeria currency was above the dollar and on par with the pound. However the naira has depreciated in value to a great extent since 1986 with the introduction of the structural adjustment programme (SAP) , under the Babangida administration since the introduction of SAP in 1986, exchange management has been at the core of macroeconomic policy. The overriding objective has been to have a realistic and stable exchange rate consistence with the internal rate of naira and to reduce the economy’s dependence on the external sector. Prior to 1986, one official foreign exchange market existed in Nigeria and exchange rates were officially fixed by the CBN. Then in the September 1986, the foreign exchange market was divided into two : the first-tier foreign market and the second – tier foreign exchange market (STEM).
The major aspect of the SFEM was that the prices of foreign currencies as against the naira was determined through competitive bidding with the prices settling at points. Where the available supply of the currencies are cleared the bidding was in terms of one currency. The us dollar, against the naira and the rates for other currencies were correspondingly determined after the determination of the dollar rate.(Essien 1990 : 129). With the establishment of SFEM the rate of naira depreciation by the central bank gathered momentum. With the view of merging the first and second tier markets within the shortest possible time, which was about one year. In July 1987, the first and second tier foreign exchange market were merged and called the foreign exchange market (FEM). On march 20 1987 the central bank introduced the Dutch auction system which was intended to inject more caution in the bidding sessions since dealers who bid above the marginal rate would be made to buy at that rate the Dutch auction system was expected to control the sharp depreciation of the naira.
In 1994 a natural merger of the official market and the parallel market occurred. The parallel market gradually marginalized the official market. The foreign exchange market was liberalized in 1995 with the introduction of the autonomous foreign exchange market (AFEM) for privately sourced fund at market determined exchange rates(CBN Annual Report 2001). In 1995, the foreign exchange market was split into three tiers. The administratively fixed through the manipulation of the market mechanism, and the parallel market. Still, there was greater depreciation of the naira. There was also an introduction of dual exchange rate regime in 1995 which was a mixture of both the fixed and the market determined rate. The dual exchange rate regime was restricted in 1997 with the official selling rate fixed at #21.9960 to us$1 for selected priority government transactions. The stability of the nominal exchange rate achieved in 1995 and 1996 at the AFEM was generally sustained in 1997.