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Ex-CIBN president denies viral comments on naira, dollar

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
24 September 2021   |   10:00 am
The former President and Chairman of Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), prof. Segun Ajibola has denied viral comments on the strength of the naira and US dollar making the round in the media. Speaking to The Guardian, Ajibola denies saying N500 can feed an average Nigerian per day as quoted in…

The former President and Chairman of Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), prof. Segun Ajibola has denied viral comments on the strength of the naira and US dollar making the round in the media.

Speaking to The Guardian, Ajibola denies saying N500 can feed an average Nigerian per day as quoted in some social media posts.

Ajibola said he was stressing the fact that naira is currently undervalued, especially internationally, adding that there was a need to find out the reasons for the undervaluation for the sake of the economy.

Ajibola noted that while appearing on NTA Programme, ‘Good Morning Nigerians’, he had noted that while one dollar has value in Nigeria, it may not buy anything meaningful in the US or UK.

Clarifying further, he noted that an average person, under 60 per cent lower end of the population could buy a mean with N500 but the one dollar equivalent cannot buy anything in America.

“Some journalists deliberately twisted a simple statement. In responding to my comment that naira is strong locally but undervalued internationally, the moderator (NTA) asked for justification. I explained that economists do resort to Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) to explain the real value of one currency against another. When you benchmark naira against US dollar, a N500 can buy a meal in Nigeria but the one dollar equivalent cannot buy anything in the US.

“The idea of the argument is this: At N500 per meal, N1500 per day, N45000 per month, the naira in the pocket of an average Nigerian (who belongs to the lower 60 per cent of the population living on one dollar per day and/or earning N30000 minimum wage) is not even sufficient to feed him. Hence the prevalence of poverty in the land,” the professor said.