A former presidential aide, Reno Omokri, has urged the Federal Government not to attempt propping up the naira, saying it will bring no real value to the nation’s economy.
Omokri made the appeal in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday, a day after the Senate confirmed Olayemi Cardoso as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
During his confirmation hearing, the new apex bank governor promised to ensure price stability, revert to evidence-based monetary policies, and discontinue his predecessor’s unorthodox monetary policies to bolster the country’s naira currency.
His confirmation came as the national currency’s value continued to plummet against the US dollar, trading at an all-time low of nearing 1,000/$ at the parallel market.
Venturing an opinion, Omokri said, “The Tinubu administration should not introduce policies to increase the value of the Naira. ₦1000 to $1 is ideal. Why? Because it will make imports so expensive, which will force Nigerians to turn to locally manufactured goods and services.”
The political and socio-economic commentator recalled that the highest GDP growth rate in Nigeria’s history occurred during the Nigerian Civil War when imports dropped to an abysmal level because most traders doing mass imports fled Lagos.
“And because we were not importing, local manufacturing blossomed, especially in the Ikeja industrial zone, and modern day Ogun State, and we experienced a GDP growth rate of 24.20% in 1969 and 25.01% in 1970.
“Immediately after the war, when traders returned to Lagos, and mass imports resumed, our GDP fell from 25.01% in 1970 to 3.36% in 1972 and has never hit those levels again.
“As long as we keep importing, we will never have a strong and stable economy. Japan, India, Vietnam and Indonesia deliberately weakened their currencies to promote exports and local consumption, and it worked.
“We must make sacrifices and do the same in Nigeria, or else we will keep frittering away our foreign reserves, importing needles and toothpicks from Asia, tomato paste and frozen pizzas from Europe, and other goods and services that can be made in Nigeria. And only traders will benefit. The manufacturing and service sectors of the economy will not.”