Naira’ll Not Be Devalued, President Buhari Insists
• Holds Security Talks With Egypt’s Sisi
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said the priority of his administration is to ensure national food security and self-sufficiency in basic needs for industrialisation.
Buhari stated this during a presidential panel roundtable on investment and growth opportunities at the opening session of the Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
He noted that as a mono-economy, which is dependent on oil, and with a teeming population of unemployed youths, the way out for Nigeria in the current slump in global oil prices is agriculture and solid minerals development.
“The land is there and we need machinery input, fertilizer and insecticides,” he said.
President Buhari also held bilateral talks on security and military cooperation with Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Reiterating his opposition to the devaluation of the naira, Buhari said: “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 rather importing everything, including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?”
According to him, “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.”
He said those who have developed a taste for foreign luxury goods should continue to pay for them rather than put pressure on the government to devalue the naira.
Buhari, who expressed optimism that Nigeria would get out of its current economic downturn, said another major problem militating against economic revival is the huge resources being deployed in the fight against insurgency and international terrorism.
He, however, commended support from the international community in the administration’s fight against terrorism, and cooperation in tracing looted funds stashed in foreign countries.