President Buhari, who is in Nairobi, Kenya for an official visit spoke during a meeting about the devaluation of Naira. President Buhari stated that the further devaluation of Naira would kill the currency, insisting that he not ready to make that decision at the moment. He also said that he was not ready to inflict more hardship on the poor citizens of Nigeria who are already poverty stricken.
The president stressed that while export-driven economies could benefit from devaluation of their currencies, the devaluation of Naira would only result in further inflation and the hardship for the poor and middle classes in Nigeria’s import-dependent economy.
The special assistant on media and publicity to the president, Mallam Garba Shehu, stated that President Buhari said he was yet to be convinced by the proponents of devaluation that ordinary Nigerians would benefit from policy. He added that the President also rejected suggestions that, the Central Bank of Nigeria should resume the sale of foreign exchange to Bureaux de Change, saying that the Bureau de Change business had become a scam and a drain on the economy.
“We had just 74 of the bureaux in 2005, now they have grown to about 2,800,” Buhari stated.
He alleged that some bank and government officials used surrogates to run the Bureau de Change and prosper at public expense by obtaining foreign exchange from government at official rates and selling it at much higher rates.
The President however, appealed to Nigerians studying abroad to bear with his administration as they try to address the challenges they were facing as a result of new foreign exchange measures.