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North vs VP: I didn’t call for Naira devaluation, Yemi Osinbajo denies

North vs VP: I didn't call for Naira devaluation, Yemi Osinbajo denies
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The Coalition of Northern Youth Groups (CNYG) has completely disagreed with the position of Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should further devalue the naira for the economic benefit of the country.

 

The coalition observed that the naira has lost its value so much that it no longer has exchange value compared to other currencies in Africa especially neighbouring countries that Nigeria was once better than.

 

In a statement issued by the convener of the Coalition, Mallam Yusuf Amoke, the group explained, “We have carefully listened to the position of the Vice President and we have critically analysed his positions on monitory policies. His position is limited seeing to the fact that he is not an economist but a lawyer, if the path of the Vice President were to be taken, soon the Naira will be nowhere to be found.

 

“In his presentation and opinion, he opined that the CBN should further devalue the Naira for an economic benefit we are yet to understand. The Naira has lost its value so much such that it does no longer have exchanged value compared to other currency in Africa, most especially the neighbouring countries that we were once better of.”



The group observed that the Vice President was the chairman of the National Economic Management Team Committee from the beginning of this government up until it was recently dissolved by the President, stressing that the President’s action must have had a lot to do with the poor understanding of the Vice President.

 

It noted that during the period of his leadership of the team, the dollar was devalued a number of times either deliberately or forcefully by elements of the market, saying that surprisingly, there has been no economic prosperity to commensurate the devaluation of the currency.

 

It said that it is obvious that there is no magic the CBN governor or any other person could do to improve the economy, pointing out that the economy is an importation economy, with less dollar within the system but high demand to import and go for medical and educational tourism.

 

It lamented that only oil brings dollars into the system and the subsidy regime and the importation of the refined product, adding that it further takes away the dollar that is supposed to support the economy.

 

The statement explained that the Vice President stressed that for the country to get dollar inflow there is a need to devalue the naira to as much as the market determines, but the coalition opined that it showed complete ignorance of the economy and its operations.



The statement said that the Vice President made it clear that unemployment, loss of jobs, and poor foreign investment inflow are a result of the exchange rate, stressing that it shows the Vice President’s lack of grasp and a good understanding of the economy.

 

It observed that both the CBN and other MDAs have acted on laws that guide their powers, rules, regulations, dos, and don’ts, saying that if the Vice President thinks certain things are wrong with the mode or interventions by the CBN, there should be a referral to the laws guiding the activities of the bank with respect to those MDAs.

 

It enjoined Mr. President to not contemplate bringing back the Economic Management Team (EMT) headed by the Vice President for any purpose, saying that he is a good lawyer but a bad economist.

 

The forum advised President Buhari to encourage the position of the CBN governor not to devalue the naira, but instead create ways that will strengthen the currency.

 

It noted that President Buhari should distance the VP from commenting and or interfering on anything that has to do with the economy of this country because he has over time proven to be a bad economist.

 

“We shall not allow anybody to use his or her office to project unpopular policies that will plunge Nigerians into further poverty, the one the masses are faced with is enough. Further devaluation of Naira means more poverty, more insecurity, more restiveness, and more death in the land. We say NO to the devaluation of Naira,” the group emphasized.



CORRECTION

Meanwhile, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has denied calling for the devaluation of the naira due to the artificial low exchange rate.

 

Osinbajo explained that he only called for measures that would increase the supply of foreign exchange in the market rather than simply managing demand, which opens up irresistible opportunities for arbitrage and corruption.

 

He pointed out that the current Naira exchange rate benefits only those who are able to obtain the dollar at N410.

North vs VP: I didn't call for Naira devaluation, Yemi Osinbajo denies
North vs VP: I didn’t call for Naira devaluation, Yemi Osinbajo denies

In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Vice President said those who buy the dollar at N410 turns around at sell at N570.

 

He stressed that his argument was aimed at setting up measures to stop the huge arbitrage of over N160 per dollar.

 

The Vice President also disclosed how to improve the value of naira against the dollar.

 

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to statements and reports in the media mis-characterising as a call for devaluation, the view of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN that the Naira exchange rate was being kept artificially low.

 

“Prof. Osinbajo is not calling for the devaluation of the Naira. He has at all times argued against a willy-nilly devaluation of the Naira.



“For context, the Vice President’s point was that currently the Naira exchange rate benefits only those who are able to obtain the dollar at N410, some of who simply turn round and sell to the parallel market at N570. It is stopping this huge arbitrage of over N160 per dollar that the Vice President was talking about. Such a massive difference discourages doing proper business, when selling the dollar can bring in 40% profit!

 

“This was why the Vice President called for measures that would increase the supply of foreign exchange in the market rather than simply managing demand, which opens up irresistible opportunities for arbitrage and corruption.

 

“It is a well known fact that foreign investors and exporters have been complaining that they could not bring foreign exchange in at N410 and then have to purchase foreign exchange in the parallel market at N570 to meet their various needs on account of unavailability of foreign exchange. Only a more market reflective exchange rate would ameliorate this. With an increase in the supply of dollars the rates will drop and the value of the Naira will improve.”

 

The Vice President also revealed the major issues confronting the Nigerian economy.

 

He noted how to improve supply of foreign exchange is the major challenge facing the country’s economy.

 

Osinbajo explained that allowing the window of import and export would help improve the value of naira.

 

“The real issue confronting the economy on this matter is how to improve the supply of foreign exchange, but this will not happen if we do not allow mechanisms like the Importers and Exporters window to work. If we allow this market mechanism to work as intended, we will find that the Naira will appreciate against the dollar as we restore confidence in the system,” he added.

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