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Osinbajo and his Naira devaluation campaign

By Gbenga Hassim-Olawepo

The Naira is obviously under attack, but yesterday’s call by Vice President Yemi Oshibajo that the value of Naira is further adjusted to align with “market realities ” can only worsen things.

Even the market fundamentalists at the IMF are very cautious to push for further devaluation of the naira as well as other traditional policy cocktails of Brethenwoods financial institutions capable of worsening the cost of living for Nigerians most of who are already desperately poor.

Since the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme in 1986 and the accompanying currency devaluation, we have since seen the naira moved from 1 US Dollar to 1Naira to 1US Dollar to 9 Naira up to now 1
US Dollar to 412 Naira at the official window.

In three and a half decades of the continuous devaluation of the naira, the economy has neither been diversified significantly nor has Nigeria become an investors haven.

If anything at all, the country has almost lost its manufacturing sector and is fast becoming a dumping ground for products that are not necessarily of better standards than goods produced in Nigeria.

This ugly situation was what we predicted 35 years ago as a matter of fact, yours truly and other patriotic forces organised the anti-SAP uprising in 1989 to discontinue the continuous devaluation of the currency.

Economics is the science of Alternatives. There are a dozen options to stabilise the value of national currency rather than the usual shallow recourse to devaluation with the attendant inflation, negative effect on the living conditions of the pauperized masses of Nigerians.

Our learned Silk and Professor of Law overreached himself by speaking publicly on the value of the currency which is the exclusive turf of the Central Bank.

The government needs to manage the fiscal side of the economy properly and leave the CBN alone to do its lawful duty on monetary policy management.

Until we get to a point where we are ready to seriously consider available options opened on the management of the National Economy, the CBN should be supported on its “Managed Float”.

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