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Naira now worthless, Nigerians shouldn’t save with it: Economic Summit Group

CEO Laoye Jaiyeola made his comments at the launch of the NESG 2022 Macroeconomic Outlook Report on Tuesday in Abuja.

• January 26, 2022

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG),  Laoye Jaiyeola, has voiced his concerns over the falling value of the naira.

Mr Jaiyeola made his comments at the launch of the NESG 2022 Macroeconomic Outlook Report on Tuesday in Abuja.

“Why should you tell anybody in Nigeria to store his money in naira,” Mr Jaiyeola said. “When your interest rate on naira in some places is even lower than the interest rate of some foreign currency?”

The NESG report criticised the Buhari-led regime’s approach to its fiscal policies, noting that “the challenge to the poor forex supply in Nigeria is mainly attributable to the lack of diversification of forex sources, with colossal dependence on crude oil export proceeds and, more recently, foreign borrowings.”

The NESG report recommended the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), effective border control; removing capital controls and encouraging the inflow of stable investments; prioritising non-oil forex sources; enhancing the quality of import substitutes and the fixing of local refineries and constructing of new ones to boost the availability of foreign exchange.

The NESG recommended that the Buhari-led regime put in place a clear forex policy to instil investors’ confidence and the need to determine the fair value of the Naira.

“Faced with the continued dwindling of the external reserves, the apex bank resorted to exchange rate devaluation and forex rationing among end-users,” the report said. “These challenges send wrong signals to prospective investors who are more concerned about the safety of their investments (particularly forex repatriation at maturity of investments, in addition to returns).”

The Central Bank of Nigeria and other officials of the Buhari administration have insisted that Nigeria has gained strength in recent months, saying the pressure against the national currency was unleashed by corrupt elements in the foreign exchange markets.

The administration asked Nigerians to expect the naira to continue to gain over major world currencies over the next year, and recently launched the e-Naira project to make citizens transact with and strengthen the digital version of the currency.

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