I won’t devalue Naira, Buhari insists

President Muhammed Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that his position not to approve further devaluation of the Naira stands.

Buhari said that Nigeria, which is not an exporting nation, would be worst hit if the Naira was devalued.

He noted that only the Western countries, with lots of items to export, could benefit from the economic measure.

Contributing to 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, the President asked Nigerians, who have developed taste for foreign luxury goods, to continue to pay for them rather pressure government to devalue the Naira.

“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 importing everything including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?

The President said. “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”.

Buhari stressed that Nigeria, being a mono-economy dependent on oil, and with a teeming unemployed youth population, the way out of the current slump in the global oil market, is for the administration to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development.

Meanwhile President Buhari jets out to Saudi Arabia and Qatar today to engage officials of both countries in further talks to ensure stability of oil prices.

Nigeria, yesterday, agreed to freeze the country’s crude oil production at 2.2 million barrels per day this month, same as the level recorded in January, in a bid to address the declining price of crude oil in the international market.

The government move is a reaction to Saudi Arabia and Russia which have agreed to freeze oil output at near-record levels, the first coordinated move by the world two largest producers to counter a slump that has pummelled economies, markets and companies.

Speaking after a meeting with Qatar Energy Minister, Mohammed Al Sada and Qatar Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Saad Sharida Al Kaabi in Doha, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, said the decision was in support of the decision of Saudi Arabia and Russia to freeze oil production.

He, however, disclosed that Nigeria was looking for ways to increase crude oil production, not for the purpose of export but for local consumption.

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