No Further Naira Devaluation- Osinbajo
Vice president, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo yesterday had said that further devaluation of Naira will not provided the highly needed solution to the current economic down turn being presently experienced in the country. He however made the announcement that the federal government has some plans in place to set up about $25 b Infrastructural Fund and the fund
Osinbajo made this known when he was receiving the Ambassadors of Italy Mr. Fulvio Rustico and the Canadian High Commissioner in Nigeria Mr. Perry John Calderwood in his office at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He used the opportunity to recall that his principal, president Muhammadu Buhari had at different fora, both in the local and international communities, said that any form of further devaluation of the Nigerian currency from what it currently is would not be healthy for the Nigerian economy and its plan towards growth and vibrancy.
He said during the visit “I don’t agree on devaluation and it is not that I am doctrinaire about it. In the first place, it is not a solution-we are not exporting significantly. And the way things are, devaluation will not help the local economy. What we need to do is to start spending more on the economy and then things will ease up a bit.”
The Vice President had equally disclosed to his visitors and newsmen present that already other sovereign wealth funds have indicated interest in the fund which would be used solely for the purpose of addressing the nation’s present decaying road, rail power infrastructures and other parts of the country that require quick attention to enable the country to forge ahead towards achieving its aims and objectives of nearest future growth. He said “this is our approach to speeding up the country’s infrastructural development.”
Osinbajo also used the opportunity to restate that the current foreign exchange restriction is just a temporary measure to ensure that “we don’t deplete our foreign exchange substantially,” at a time when the prices of crude oil in the international market is fast dropping to its lowest in a long time.
He added that the restriction is also to bring some stability to the country’s foreign reserves without which Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, might be affected. “I am not sure devaluation is the issue, but how to ensure foreign direct investment which is more useful”, he said. Allaying the fears of investors who already have contracts and loan commitments, the Vice President also gave assurance that the federal government would work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to protect legitimate businesses from being affected by the current foreign exchange restrictions.
The Vice President also called for greater economic ties between Nigeria and the two countries even as he conveyed the appreciation of the federation government to the envoys. Meanwhile, a delegation of top executives from Citigroup led by Mr. Jim Cowles also paid a courtesy call on the Vice President.