President Muhammadu Buhari is certainly not happy with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, over what he called ”the ruthless devaluation of the Naira.”
President Buhari expressed his indignation at the current rate of the naira to the dollar while speaking at the Ramadan breaking of fast with members of the business community led by Mr Kola Jamodu, on Monday.
The president condemned “the ruthless devaluation of naira,’’ saying that he was yet to be convinced about the economic benefits of the exercise.
“How much benefits have we derived from naira devaluation in the past?
“I don’t like the returns I get from the CBN because that coupled with the demand that let us devalue the naira. In August 1985, the naira was N1.3k to a dollar, now you need N300 or N350 to a dollar. “What do we derive from that, how much benefit can we derive from this ruthless devaluation of the naira?
“I’m not an economist neither a businessman, I fail to appreciate the economic explanation. “What has happened to us now is that we have maneuvered ourselves into a mono-economy which led to the collapse we are seeing now.
“A lot of responsibilities now fall on your shoulders. You have a lot of investments, a lot of people you employ,’’ he told the businessmen.
He also assured them that his administration would make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production within 18 months, adding that 13 states of the federation had been identified for the production of the crop.
He said the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, had already been briefed on how best to achieve the target.
Buhari decried the way and manner the nation’s scarce resources were wasted on the importation of food items by the previous regimes. He said the nation had no option than to concentrate more on agriculture and solid mineral activities.
In his remarks on behalf of the business community, Mr Kola Jamodu, expressed the readiness of the private sector to partner the administration in addressing the economic challenges facing the country.
He thanked the president for inviting them for the breaking of fast dinner.