The CBN devalued the Naira on Tuesday and as expected it has attracted some criticism of the Government. Typically, when that happens the Coordinating Minister of the economy is one of the first to be hit by criticism. The Punch, reports her media aides responded by saying she is not not blame for the devaluation. Here is how she put it.
“Why don’t you (critics) read up on the autonomy of central banks and global best practices? It (naira devaluation) was not a political or ideological issue.
“Don’t misquote me: I said the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance have complementary roles but the CBN is independent. But of course there is coordination.
“Since monetary and fiscal policies are complementary, the best practice is to keep them separate in the interest of the economy. As I have said, devaluation is part of the monetary policy which is CBN’s duty. The institution is independent,”
So Nigerians who do we blame here? Me or you? The Minister is basically putting the blame squarely on the CBN. But is that really true?
By devaluing the naira the CBN has basically responded to the inherent weakness in our economy especially on the Fiscal side where the government continues to spend so much on recurrent expenditure. Our over bloated government as well as many silly projects such as YouWin, Centenary celebrations, WEF all contributes to spending.
It’s therefore shameful that the Minister doesn’t admit to sharing part of the blame for the mishandling of the economy. Why should a country like Nigeria with over 160 million people continue to be import dependent with just under $40b in reserves. This is after paying of our debts back in 2005 orchestrated by NOI herself. Yet we have nothing to show for it all these years. Take some blame Madam Minister.