Contrary to the allegation that he said N500 can feed an average Nigerian daily, the former President of the Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Prof. Segun Ajibola has denied making such comments.
Ajibola explained that he never said that N500 can feed an average Nigerian per day, but rather, “per meal”, according to Punch.
Reacting to last week’s interview on an NTA programme, ‘Good Morning Nigerians,’ Ajibola emphasized that he was only stressing the fact that naira is currently undervalued, especially internationally.
What Prof Ajibola is saying about his controversial statement
He said, “Some journalists, especially bloggers, deliberately twisted a simple statement.
“In responding to my comment that naira is strong locally but undervalued internationally, the moderator asked for justification. I explained that economists do resort to purchasing power parity to explain the real value of one currency against another.
“When you benchmark naira against the US dollar, N500 can buy a meal in Nigeria, but the one dollar equivalent cannot buy anything [sic] in the US.
“The idea of the argument is this: At N500 per meal, N1,500 per day, N45,000 per month, the Naira in the pocket of an average Nigerian (who belongs to the lower 60% of the population living on $1 per day and/or earning N30,000 minimum wage) is not even sufficient to feed him alone. Hence the prevalence of poverty in the land.”
The former CIBN boss advised Nigerians who are interested in the details of the discussion to visit NTA YouTube to listen to the originally recorded proceedings of the programme.