The Minister of Finance, Olawale Edun, has disclosed that the federal government is targeting foreign exchange outside the banking sector to address the liquidity crisis in the FX market.
Edun stated this on Tuesday while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.
He stated that the forex in the hands of Nigerians represents the new “foreign reserve” of the country, adding that the liquidity in the hands of Nigerians runs into billions of dollars.
“Foreign exchange held by Nigerians in cash outside the banking system is in the billions,” he said.
The minister disclosed that President Bola Tinubu’s executive order will help to “facilitate” this money into the “banking sector.”
“Mr President has authorised an executive order to facilitate the payment of that cash into the banking system,” he said.
Edun also agreed with lawmakers that the tax waiver is costing the country trillions of naira annually without any value.
The deputy chairman of the committee, Saidu Abdulahi, said the country should experiment with scrapping the policy for a year and see what would happen.
The minister agreed with the assertion by the lawmakers that the waiver policy is wasteful, noting that the government should consider tax rebates.