Manufacturers have predicted fresh hikes in the prices of commodities in the market to rise in response to the continued fall of the naira against the United States dollar.
On Friday, the naira plunged to N1,420/$ at the parallel window of the foreign exchange market.
The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Francis Meshioye, said that the naira, which has now remained at over N1,400 in the parallel market for two days, would lead to price hikes in the economy.
He said, “It is not possible to remain profitable with this exchange rate. The first challenge is breaking even. It means the prices of things will be higher, and the income is not there for people to buy things as they should buy as things become more expensive.
“So, the demand will become low, and this will affect our bottom-line. The break-even point will become critical. So, what businesses should do is to ensure that they break even at this time. It is a critical and very challenging time for us.”
Meshioye predicted that these price hikes were unlikely to resonate well with consumers whose spending power has been continuously depleted.
According to him, the frequent fluctuations in the forex market have made it difficult for manufacturers to make long-term plans.
He stated, “It is a harsh time, which means we have to revise our strategy. It is hard for us to have a long-term plan, and even the short-term plans we have to regularly revise them so that we can incorporate the reality of the economy into it.”
The president of MAN added that the current FX reality creates the need for manufacturers to come together and fashion out viable solutions to stay in business.
The fall of the national currency has been partially responsible for high inflation rates in the country. As of December 2023, inflation rose to 28.92 percent according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Naira’s continued plunge
The naira has continued its slide in the parallel market, closing the week at N1,420/$.
Since the Central Bank of Nigeria removed the rate cap on the national currency in June 2023, the naira has fallen to record lows on the official and unofficial foreign exchange windows.
Written by: EaglesFM