Obaseki dismisses CBN’s planned naira redesign as political

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki (right); wife of Chinese Ambassador, Mrs. Liang Huili and her husband, Cui Jian Chun during a dinner at Government House, in Benin City… yesterday.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki (right); wife of Chinese Ambassador, Mrs. Liang Huili and her husband, Cui Jian Chun during a dinner at Government House, in Benin City… yesterday.

Announces pact with China to boost investment
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has described the proposed plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign naira notes as political, noting that the move is a ploy by the All Progressives Congress-led government to sway voters ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Obaseki stated this, according to a statement by Crusoe Osagie, his media aide, while inaugurating the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Women Campaign Council at the Presidential Campaign Secretariat in Benin City.

Lambasting the Federal Government for the move, Obaseki said the redesign of the nation’s currency shouldn’t be a priority as the majority of citizens are suffering from hunger, poverty and economic hardship.
He said, “They say we should all bring our naira and give it to them because they want to change it for us. Is that our priority now? Does changing of currency reduce the price of food in the market? They say they want to change our currency and dollars are going higher every day. We can’t even see dollars again.

“I am an economist and I can tell you categorically that this policy by the CBN and Federal Government has no basis in Nigeria’s economy. There is no reason to do this; the move is purely political as there is no urgency in changing our currency.

“The urgency is on how to get food for our citizens to remove starvation and hunger from the land. The urgency is on how to maintain discipline in our monetary policy so that we can manage our foreign exchange rate because we are import dependent,” the governor added.”

The Chairperson of the Women Campaign Council, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, said: “APC is still imposing more suffering on the people of the nation. The existence of the nation is threatened and Nigerians should not sit down and watch but come out en masse to vote out APC.”

OBASEKI has also said that his government is strengthening and expanding economic relations with China to boost inflow of investment into the state and facilitate economic growth and development.

He spoke at a dinner organised for the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jian Chun; his wife, Mrs. Liang Huili Chun and other members of his delegation at the Government House, Benin City.

The governor said: “I thank the ambassador for the Chinese community’s contribution to Edo State, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as they helped to fight the scourge to a standstill. They have contributed to providing jobs, improving livelihood and engendering economic development in various communities they operate.

“We are proud and happy that we have them here in Edo State and look forward to expanding the economic relationship between Nigeria and China.”

Acknowledging contributions of Chinese companies operating in Edo State, Obaseki stated that Chinese companies have invested in a wide range of economic activities in Edo, ranging from steel, ceramics and tiles to doors production.

“Edo has so much to offer in terms of businesses because of its unique location in the country. We have rich land for agricultural production, largest onshore gas reserves as the energy required for industrialisation exists in the state.”

“In the last six years, we have focused on human capital development, strengthening our educational system, training young Edo people to be employable and giving them the requisite educational foundation to make them relevant in their work places.

“We believe that we are ready and at the crossroads in our history as Nigerians. We have no choice but to go into real large-scale production and the Chinese have proven that we can rely on them in Edo as partners and hope that this visit is another indication and a step in the direction we want to go.”

Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jian Chun who commended the people of Edo State for their hospitality, love and unity with the Chinese community in the state, said, “I thank the government for doing a lot for Chinese businesses in the State.

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