Naira Devaluation, Naira Rise and A Patriot By Mubarak Jarmajo
Time has brought us to the moment when the economy isn’t debated by economists alone. We are freely “poke-nosing” into matters that are primarily not ours to debate. Nonetheless, given that this is democracy and the economy cannot be separated from politics, we are all good to stand before the podium.
As I have maintained here and elsewhere in discussions, there is no basis to devalue the Naira given that we hardly export any good or service. The essence of devaluing the currency was to create an enabling environment for foreign investors to come invest thereby creating employment opportunities and thus helping the economy grow. And from the look of things President Buhari is also on the same with yours sincerely.
Now, recently the ABCON has decided to cut the Dollar price buying at about N205 and selling at about N240. This has start yet another debate with our patriot compatriots expressing dismay over what appears to be a welcome development.
Patriotically, Abdullahi A Abdullahi and several others have expressed dissatisfaction over the drop of the Dollar price lamenting that it will not help the economy. They prefer a situation whereby the Dollar will remain high thereby forcing us to look inwards.
While I concur with their stance, I still feel because of the hardship we will continue to suffer, it is good the Dollar comes down as there are several other ways or better still measures through which government can compel us to look inwards.
Either liberally through raising custom duties of imports or forcefully through ban of imports of certain goods and services. In Malaysia for instance, foreign cars are quite expensive that they are hardly afforded because of high custom duty.
As a matter of importance meanwhile, government must begin public enlightenment campaigns in order to reorient our minds and thoughts towards using made in Nigeria goods and services. It also has to show example by for instance making it a policy that henceforth official cars of government should be Innoson automobiles.
Jarmajo is on Twitter: @mukhtarjarmajo