Strategies for Resuscitating Foreign Exchange Market in a Depressed Economy (a Case Study in Nigeria)

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Strategies for Resuscitating Foreign Exchange Market in a Depressed Economy (A Case Study in Nigeria)


Ijaiya Tahir Adeniyi (Hons) Econs
Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos State, Nigeria

Exchange rate arrangements in Nigeria have undergone significant changes over the past four decades (Alaba, 2003). It shifted from a fixed regime in the 1960s to a pegged arrangement between the 1970s and the mid-1980s, and finally, to the various types of the floating regime since 1986, following the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). A regime of managed float, without any strong commitment to defending any particular uniformity, has been the predominant characteristic of the floating regime in Nigeria since 1986 (Alaba, 2003). These changes are not peculiar to the Naira as the US dollar was fixed in gold terms until 1971 when it was de-linked and has since been floated. The fixed exchange rate regime induced an overvaluation of the naira and was supported by exchange control regulations that engendered significant distortions in the economy. That gave vent to massive importation of finished goods with the adverse consequences for domestic production, balance of payments position and the nation’s external reserves level. Moreover, the period was bedeviled by sharp practices perpetrated by dealers and end-users of foreign exchange. These and many other problems informed the adoption of a more flexible exchange rate regime in the context of the SAP, adopted in 1986. In theory and practice, a prolonged misalignment of the exchange rate in the foreign exchange market will, in the medium term, tend to impact adversely on economic performance (MacDonald, 1997). Consequently, the authorities should always provide a timely intervention to ensure that the exchange rate is in equilibrium. The monetary authorities usually intervene through its monetary policy actions and operations in the money market to influence the exchange rate movement in the desired direction such that it ensures the competitiveness of the domestic economy. In Nigeria, maintaining a realistic exchange rate for the naira is very crucial, given the structure of the economy, and the need to minimize distortions in production and consumption, increase the inflow of non-oil export receipts and attract foreign direct investment. In order to give vent to this, this study shall examine the foreign exchange market in Nigeria with the view of investigating the relationship between the exchange rates and some macroeconomic variables. 1.2STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

There has been an ongoing debate on the appropriate exchange rate policy in developing countries. The debate focuses on the degree of fluctuations in the exchange rate in the face of internal and external shocks. Exchange rate fluctuations are likely, in turn, to determine economic performance (Kandil and Mirzaie, 2003). In judging the desirability of exchange rate fluctuations in Nigeria, it becomes necessary to appraise the various exchange rate regimes adopted in Nigeria and evaluate their effects on output growth, pattern of domestic prices and some other macroeconomic variables. Their major setbacks would also be identified in order to suggest future course of action. 1.3OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The specific objectives of this study are:
i) to Identify the determinants of the foreign exchange rates; ii) to examine the impact of foreign exchange rates on the value of the country’s output; iii) to examine the impact of foreign exchange rates on foreign trade; iv) to examine the impact of foreign exchange rates on external reserve; v) to examine the impact of foreign exchange rates on domestic prices of goods and services. 1.4RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The Econometric approach that would be adopted to examine the relevance of the...
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