President Muhammadu Buhari has restated his resolve to keep the naira “steady”.
Buhari, in a nationwide broadcast to mark his first year in office on Sunday, said that the naira would not be devalued because of the harm devaluation does to the economy.
“On the economy, in particular foreign exchange and fuel shortages, our plan is to save foreign exchange by fast tracking repair of the refineries and producing most of our fuel requirements at home. And by growing more food in Nigeria, mainly rice, wheat and sugar we will save billions of dollars in foreign exchange and drastically reduce our food import bill,” he said.
“We resolved to keep the naira steady, as in the past, devaluation had done dreadful harm to the Nigerian economy.
“Furthermore, I supported the monetary authority’s decision to ensure alignment between monetary policy and fiscal policy. “We shall keep a close look on how the recent measures affect the naira and the economy. But we cannot get away from the fact that a strong currency is predicated on a strong economy. And a strong economy pre-supposes an industrial productive base and a steady export market. The measures we must take, may lead to hardships.
“The problems Nigerians have faced over the last year have been many and varied. But the real challenge for this government has been reconstructing the spine of the Nigerian state.”
The naira currently exchanges for N351/$1 in the black market, although the official rate is N197.
The central bank is unable to meet the demand by manufacturers, despite the policy of the government to encourage them with the lower exchange rate.