President Muhammadu Buhari has quashed any suggestion that the naira – officially between N197-N199 while almost N400 in the black market – will be devalued to reflect the true market realities.
The President reiterated his stance against naira devaluation, insisting that Nigeria is not at par with developed countries that produce to compete among themselves and can therefore afford to devalue their respective currencies.
In a presidential panel roundtable on investment and growth opportunities during the opening of the African 2016 business roundtable in Egypt, Buhari contend that rather pressure government to devalue the naira, those with appetite for foreign luxury goods should continue to patronize them.
According to him:
“Developed countries are competing among themselves and when they devalue they compete better and manufacture and export more. But we are not competing and exporting but importing everything including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?
“We want to be more productive and self-sufficient in food and other basic things such as clothing. For our government, we like to encourage local production and efficiency.”
“The land is there and we need machinery inputs, fertilizer and insecticides.”
While expressing optimism that Nigeria would soon get out of its current economic decline, President Buhari said the huge resources being spent towards fighting insurgency and terrorism is a major problem militating against economic revival.
At the roundtable were Presidents of Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Gabon and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.