Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has said that devaluing the naira would worsen the economic situation and cause a severe drain on the nation’s foreign reserves.
Speaking at the celebration of Ondo state’s 40th anniversary in Akure, Anyaoku said devaluation of the naira would lead to inflation, and further affect the masses.
“In my view those calling for official devaluation of the naira need to come up with a good answer to Nigeria’s basic present problematic situation with its currency,” Mr. Anyaoku said.
“There is an incontrovertible fact that with the present level of the country’s dependence on imported goods, which results in a monthly import bill that is four times the value of our main export, which is traded in dollars, official devaluation of the naira vis-a-vis the dollar, will inevitably produce a further rise in inflation to the detriment of all of us, including, especially the masses.
“And besides, in such circumstances, devaluation will lead to an unacceptable drain on our country’s external reserves which is already worryingly depleted.
“The crux of the challenge we face with the current world price for crude oil is to devise policies for reducing the level of the country’s dependence on imported goods while in the mean time, allowing the dollar to float in the unofficial currency market with adequate safeguards being put in place by government to check round tripping in the management of the foreign exchange.”
“In my view, the president should – as a matter of urgency – convene a meeting of carefully-chosen economic experts in the country to discuss this item and provide means on how to deal with the country’s economic vices”.
President Muhammadu Buhari also holds Chief Anyaoku’s view, as he has constantly resisted the devaluation of the naira because he believes that the devaluation would adversely affect the poor.