‘Forex scarcity may cause massive unemployment’

The Federal Government has been advised to urgently address the lingering foreign exchange scarcity problem in the country to forestall massive job losses.

While a long-term plan of developing alternative forex sources is required, a short to medium-term plan targeted at tackling the existing dollar shortage is inevitable.

The immediate past Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Ife, Rt. Rev. Oluranti Odubogun, stated this at a news conference on the state of the nation in Lagos.

He said, “If the Federal Government does not map out economic strategy to forestall further scarcity of forex, there is a grave danger of increase in unemployment as organisations will begin to lay off workers.

“So, let the government provide forex on the basis of needs that are genuine and imperative for incremental value to the economy. Categorisation is also important.”

Odubogun, a former business administrator, advised that  the government could tap into the forex it generates from other sources.

“There are other sources through which foreign exchange is earned. If they are properly managed and harnessed, they could more than mitigate against the drop in direct oil sales,” he said.

“There are sources through which foreign exchange is earned in this country. There are services being provided, and there are other areas where government earn forex,” he added.

While backing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy banning importers of some 41 items from accessing forex from the official window, Odubogun said that forex would continue to be scarce until government created the conducive business environment that encouraged local production and exportation.


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