The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

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.

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

  • Jerrey

    Is he celebrating the plight of Nigeria with these statements or suggesting a solution. Because from what I read here. Telling the world we import everything “including toothpicks”, without saying “What exactly we need to do” to change this, is not wise.

    • Lawal

      I already replied this why isn’t it reflecting??!

    • New Nigerian

      One thing you should know is that he actually has experts providing him advice and he has said what we need to do – see paragraph 7. That if you may is the blue print for Buharinomics. And there is nothing that he said that is not true and there is nothing shameful about saying things the way they are, after all, acknowledging your problem is the first step to solving it

      • Chiedu7


        • New Nigerian

          You just expressed false equivalency

  • Patrick Nrialike

    “So, why should we devalue our currency?” To make the importation of ‘everything including tooth picks’ more expensive and investors will try to manufacture then in Nigeria for export. Global, including Nigerian investors will come back with their Dollars to invest in these areas you have mentioned: Agriculture and mining. Obasanjo once said that he asked an American friend and investor why not come and invest in the mining sector in Nigeria, he informed him of what to do to creat an enabling environment. I don’t know whether he tried to do so. Someone from the economic team should go and ask Warren Buffet to come and buy Unilever Nigeria and First bank which are very cheap (he understands and likes such businesses). Then listen to what he will ask you to do and once that is done and he comes and buys, you will see the miracle to the Nigerian economy as investors will start flooding in to invest in Nigeria. Please always remember that investing is not Charity.

    • Felix Asikpata

      Patrick I agree with you. Mr President seems to be applying a spanner 13 to open up a bolt 14. Rather than devalue, float the currency, by unpegging the Naira. Whatever we are producing for export becomes cheaper and more competitive, while our consumptive appetite for imports is curtailed by their expensiveness. Follow up the currency float with a sound and seriously implemented industrial revolution policy and plan. (That is where Buhar’s much vaunted ‘no nonsense’ will be of value). And also if this be the focus of whatever party comes to power in the next 3 to 4 decade, the Naira will automatically find its niche among strong currencies. Countries that float their currencies theoretically have no cause to devalue them in the medium to long run, as with the United States and others. What I would like to hear from Mr President about moving our currency forward is: pursuit of Inventiveness,, Innovation and Competitiveness of the economy backed by uncompromising reforms of our attitudes and societal values. We need to make Nigeria into a primary productive market, rather than a secondary market for dumping of goods which is what Mr. Presidents statements imply when he talks about simply going back to agriculture and solid minerals while importing machinery, pesticides, etc .

  • Patrick Nrialike

    The naira is already being devalued, from 350 naira to the pound in December to 495 as of date (-41% in under 2 months) and still falling. No genuine investor will come to Aso rock or the central bank Bureaucracy to waste his time begging for allocation of foreign exchange with the attendant potential for corruption. Also those who have the dollar to invest cannot afford to sell it to central bank at their so called official but ridiculous rate. So the earlier we allow the naira to float, forget about official and parallel markets, have only one market which is market driven and open to any body to buy and sell, the better for the Nigeria economy ‘chikena’.

  • Dibang Ibru

    There we go again! Most Nigerians do not know what Buhari is doing. Today the real determinant of Naira value is the parallel market. 90% of the parallel market are owned by Buhari’s kinsfolk, that is Hausa & Flanigan from Northern Nigeria. Buhari wants to make millionaresure out of them before devaluation. I am estimating N1 000 to $1. This the game and monetary policy going on now. To enrich the Northern Nigerian before devaluation. Yeye de smell