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Again, the naira palaver

By AbduRafiu
11 November 2022   |   3:37 am
The value of the Naira to the US Dollar is a matter that goes beyond the passing interest of even an average person—indeed from the wealthy, from the employer to the employee; from the wholesaler to the retailer, from the retailer to the end user. Because our economy is import dependent, with the fall of…

[FILES] Bureau de change. PHOTO: QZ

The value of the Naira to the US Dollar is a matter that goes beyond the passing interest of even an average person—indeed from the wealthy, from the employer to the employee; from the wholesaler to the retailer, from the retailer to the end user. Because our economy is import dependent, with the fall of the Naira, it means an importer of whatever goods has to find more Naira to buy $1 (US Dollar) to bring in his goods.

A manufacturer has to find more Dollars to import new equipment for expansion or buy spares to keep his current volume of production going. This means more naira being thrown to the Dollar. To fork out more naira to purchase the Dollar, he has no choice but to raise the prices of his products. Even if he is able draw foreign currencies direct from his bank, because of the pressure on the banks he may still have to augment what he collects from there with whatever rescue efforts the parallel market may offer him. What has brought added pressure on the foreign currency is the deluge of Naira being rushed to the money market by those who have stockpiled Naira to mountain heights in secret vaults. They are caught unawares by the Central Bank decision to redesign the Naira notes.

As of Tuesday, in parts of the parallel markets, the Dollar was being bought for N879.00 and sold for N890. The Pound Sterling was going for between N985 and N995—at an average of N990.00. It went up from N882 on Monday to Tuesday’s figure. Euro sold N870 and Pound for N970.00. The Central Bank maintains the lid on what the currencies go for in its hall for the banks. As of Tuesday, it was N430 selling price and buying price also N430. As I did state last week, it cannot be a surprise that prices of practically all goods are rising in a wave driven by the all-powerful US Dollar and public response to the re-design of the Naira by the Central Bank. Those who have been keeping mountain-load of the Naira are panicking; they are running all over the place to buy up the Dollar from parallel markets in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt in particular so that the Naira notes, mostly of doubtful sources and perhaps impure motives, and which they cannot rush to the banks, do not become worthless in their hands. There is a peg on how much can be taken to the bank in a month between now and end of the year when the old notes will cease to be legal tender and will become useless.

As the scarcity of the Dollar, Pound Sterling and Euro worsens so will the plunge get deeper. By March 1992, all you needed to fetch one US Dollar was N19. Indeed as of 1973, $1 (One US Dollar) could not to fetch a person N1.00 (One Naira). The exchange rate was N0.33 to $1. The exchange rate deteriorated gradually to N5 to $1. When the Naira value plunged to N219.00 in 2015 there was a shaking alarm that reverberated throughout the land. Today it is N430 officially, but N890 in the parallel market. Fuel (PMS) was N87 in 2015, today, November 2022, it is N210. A bag of rice was N8, 500 in 2015, it goes between N42,000 and N46,000 today; cooking gas from N2,500 in 2015 to N9,500 now; Diesel oil, N155 a litre in 2015, in November, 2022, it is N800.

I should say that it is not the fault of the experts that the value of our currency has been going down. When they raise our hopes, they are banking on the efficacy of panacea, which had worked elsewhere. And I can sense how troubled Godwin Emefiele must be today. Hence the recourse to the redesign of the Naira. From a layman’s point of view, it is believed that the bulk of the looted money, which is suspected to be in trillions would not find their way back in the public space and markets as legal tender. With less money in circulation, prices of goods would crash. I like to believe that Emefiele’s drive is to find a “realistic value” for the Naira, curb roaring inflation and ensure some stability in the currency exchange market and also hold the prices of local goods which instability must necessarily induce. Let us hope Emefiele’s shock therapy will bring a little relief to the financial ill-health of the country. Consider it, the country’s external debt was $3.3 billion in March, 2007; and $9.5 billion inherited from Jonathan has ballooned to $40.1billion as of June, 2022.

All this is as far as human limitation can carry us. A great many must be closed not to recognise that mankind are living in unusual times. Have we not observed even if casually the spate of deaths occurring in the land these days? What are we told about these times, the fulfillment of which those who care can see or experience in knowledge? Whether it is war, earthquakes, floods, fire, landslide, cyclones—their acceleration and intensification! It is hardly realised that the entire Creation is governed by Laws.

In our plans and programmes, one critical area attention is least paid is man, who can be an agent of development and, if he chooses, and that is what he often does, be an agent of destruction. Another critical area to which attention is least paid out of crass ignorance is what laws govern this universe and indeed Creation as a whole! Mankind believe only their own laws which flow from their limited thinking are valid. As it is now revealed in higher knowledge available on earth in these times, as in most activities and relationships, the Law of Balance governs the economy, financial transactions and monetary systems. It is this neglect of the much-needed understanding of who man is and the Laws of the Almighty Creator, the Laws of Nature, which have accounted for the failure in practically all facets of human activities and it will be ruin, not only in Nigeria, but a majority of the countries of the world, if not all. The neglect is the sole cause of the impending horrors. The worsening climate change is already pointing in that direction.

Who is man? This column has raised this point countless times. What are his duties and responsibilities? What is his goal? Because of lack of knowledge of his purpose, many a man then elects to do whatever he likes and conduct himself in a most disagreeable way, causing disturbances to neighbours, passers-by, the environment and the system. As long as he is not caught, he reasons, he can let go! No one finds it easy, if he tries at all, to turn the searchlight on himself. He would rather blame everyone, but himself for his problems and for the woes in the land.

A good people can never have a bad government. Never is a corrupt tree known to have brought forth good fruits. If the generality of a people are good, misconduct in government will be very shocking because it will not suit their nature. Since there will be no nourishment from the surroundings, the officials concerned, out of shame, will of their own volition, put an end promptly to their misconduct. Where they do not, because of the general and pervading goodness, they will be unable to manifest their bad traits and without dire consequences. They will be overwhelmed and overpowered by the general societal goodness. Public morality, it has been widely observed, is at low ebb. On the roads, in offices, at fuel filling stations, in parks, everywhere, there is expectation of financial tips, inducements and financial gratifications. Many an artisans can’t but create fresh problems in an attempt to solve one! Public services are collapsing with unbelievable rapidity. Decay is engulfing everywhere. It will require the efforts of a large majority to roll back the decline. Ailing 89-year-old President Paul Biya of Cameroun has just celebrated his 40th year in office!

Let us contemplate how life is in other parts of Creation. There are about 7.3billion human beings on the face of the earth today (some studies put it at 7.8 billion). But it is not only on earth human beings live. They live in lighter regions in inconceivable heights away from the earth. There are billions also below the earth. These are human beings totally immature, evinced in their depravity. These are not meant to live on earth, but they form more than half of the population of the earth today, after human beings on earth, following loose living, formed homogeneity with the plane of the depraved. This is what accounts for the presence of totally and seemingly irredeemably soulless men in various walks of life in the world today. With such people, often in bright garments, no economic or political reforms can work. They know no ethical standards. They have a proclivity for violence and murder.

While mature men meet at a round-table conference and resolve matters with wisdom, immature men shoot it out. They organise revolutions, although they themselves do not change inwardly which alone is beneficial to all human beings. Those who like to regard themselves as mature are shocked to find two men slug it out by the roadside or bus-stops. The equally immature gather to watch and to encourage the combatants to carry on.

What then is life like in other planes, particularly in the region of love? Love engenders peace. It means living in service for others and being served, too, by them. It follows then that peace and bliss reign there. In peace, there will be service and development, for love entails service that does not pay regards to self. A region of love is where goodness abounds. Thus to have good services, peace and harmony, development and prosperity in Nigeria, there must be goodness as a way of life of the people. In a situation the market woman dents her measuring tin to sell foodstuff, the objective being to maximize profit, to extort money, she will have no choice but to pay education officials and teachers for admission and placement of her son in a good government college. A messenger who demands tips to perform his duties will himself pay more to meet his needs. Whether a market woman or waiter, messenger or artisan, they have violated the Law of Balance that holds society together in harmony and development. This law is heeded in inhalation and exhalation. Imbalance in this can lead to health complications and death.

A people will always get the government that is suited to their nature, a symbol of their decay, vainglory, dishonesty and lawlessness. Or honour as the case may be. It is every one of us, every Nigerian that must become a better person if he wants a better society. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven,” sayeth the Lord, “and all other things will be added unto thee.” That alone is the solution to our social, economic or political woes. This is achieved solely through the knowledge of the Laws, which bear the Will of the Most High and in which all that dwell in the Light Region swing without first reconsidering. The law of balance is contained in the Lord’s pronouncement, for the Lord Christ is Light and Truth and the embodiment of the Laws of His Father. The Law is, you seek, you find; you give you receive. The inhabitants of the Light Realm, Paradise, bask and live absolutely in the sense of the Laws, which define and manifest the Will of Almighty God— perfect, uniform and self-acting in all planes of existence.