20th March, 2017
Former Special Adviser to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, has said that the new Forex policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as directed by the federal executive council recently, is not sustainable and may limit national economic growth and development of he country.
Okupe who stated this in his facebook post on Sunday added that the CBN’s present salutary effect of shoring up the value of the naira is at best palliative with no long term socioeconomic benefit to the Nigerian people.
The post reads thus: “The new Forex policy of the CBN as directed by the federal executive recently is not sustainable, and may actually limit national economic growth and development. Its present salutary effect of shoring up the value of the naira is at best palliative with no long term socioeconomic benefit to the Nigerian people. Nigeria, in the best of time earns between $20-$25bn annually from crude oil sales after all deductions and dues.
“This amount is not a lot of money for a country of nearly 200m people. Especially if one views it against the fact that Wall Mart an American global supermarket on a public holiday sometimes this year made sale of about $40bn in one day! While McDonalds a burger company has an annual budget of over $100bn.
“Meanwhile Nigeria, its citizens and rulers live under a false notion that Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources, especially, oil, when, without oil, Brazil(population about 200m) earns close to $80B from export of sugar and ethanol, alone, annually All from tilling their soil.
“Currently the CBN since its new intervention has spent close to $1.4bn to bring the value of the naira down. Meanwhile there is no statistical evidence that prices of goods and services have dropped correspondingly. So who is benefiting?”
He added that “beneficiaries are elite patents like me, who were at the verge of withdrawing our children home from schooling abroad. Others are former colleagues of the CBN governor, the bankers, and rent seekers licensed by the CBN as bureau de change operators. Others are real and fake manufacturers who collect Forex, some, under false pretenses of importing needless raw materials.
“By the end of this year if the CBN must maintain its intervention, we would have committed about $5bn (or 20% of our total inflow from oil) or more to this obnoxious scheme.
“I am not absolutely condemning this intervention, but I am stating that it is not a permanent solution to our Forex dilemma. We must as a nation stop employing “knee jerk” solutions to deep rooted economic problems.
“Government must have a focused economic policy which must clearly be made to target a growth and developmental objective. These policies in the process of their implementation may bring some hardships, change of attitude, which we must of necessity endure. If we must employ palliatives as we are doing with this new Forex policy, it must be with rational timelines, just as a prelude to our ultimate developmental objective.
“In south Africa they are also going through similar devaluation process, but the life of the average citizen to a large extent is insulated the economic pressure the average Nigerian face here.
“The average elite south African does not need to send his child ten child then abroad for quality education. When he falls I’ll he does not need medical treatment abroad. South Africans grow their foods and manufacture building materials locally from locally sourced raw materials. The cars they ride are mostly made locally.”