The current agitation for devaluation of the naira is being led by investment bankers, who thrives on currency manipulation and speculations. This was the submission of Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole while calling for increase in the number of items excluded from accessing foreign exchange in the country as part of measures to protect the nation’s currency from further devaluation.
The governor who spoke at the first TheCable Colloquium, titled, “The Naira on Trial: To devalue or Not,” said that further devaluation will not solve the nation’s problem, especially the appetite for imported goods, which he argued is the real problem bedeviling the economy.
“Rather than the government as it used to be in the past indicating its intention to devalue, it is a section of the people that are behind this agitation. Who are these people? The investment bankers who want to trade on bonds and other commercial papers. They don’t want any interference. You can use visas to restrict and regulate the movement of human beings but CBN must not use any instrument to regulate the movement of dollars in or out of the country.”
Citing statistics on foreign trade, Oshiomhole noted that previous bouts of devaluations have not reduced importation of goods or increased exportation as canvassed by proponents of devaluation, as imports have continued to increase despite devaluation of naira.
“More than that, the real critical question that settled this debate is, will devaluation curb our appetite for imported goods? The evidence with CBN shows that prices in the Nigerian economy do not curb the appetite for foreign goods. The last time the CBN devalued from N158 to N198 around 2014, as a matter of fact, our export actually declined by 34.1 per cent and our import increased by 2.9 per cent after that devaluation.