Peter Obi: Floating Currency You Don’t Supply Is Like Building Non-Gated House in Criminal Society - ARISE NEWS
“What this government has been doing since inception, are announcements with limited thinking which again produces limited outcomes.”
Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has said the Nigerian government cannot float a currency it doesn’t supply.
Obi, in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, also faulted the government for the removal of fuel subsidy without adequate and properly structured palliatives put in place to cushion its effects on Nigerians.
He said “You can’t float a currency you don’t have supply… It’s like building a non-gated house in a criminal-ridden society. You have to have a defense mechanism. Nobody floats what you don’t have supply of.
“Nobody floats his currency without having adequate supply. When you don’t have adequate supply, there were pressures, there was criminality in our exchange rate regime. Again, we should have worked on eliminating those criminality and excesses in our foreign exchange regime because there are strong unmet demands.
“The naira was under pressure and a bit overvalued, everybody knew that. So, what he would have done was to devalue the currency. We were at N412 before now.
“Devaluation to about N600 or thereabout will have been it, while trying to manage the supply by making sure that we deal with issues. What controls your exchange rate? It’s a simple thing, it’s your reserve. And what controls your reserve is your export. You have avenues and things that you will have exported, you’re supposed to export from your oil to other minerals to everything.”
On fuel subsidy, he said the approach should have been to remove the criminality and corruption? not subsidy itself.
He said “I have always said we are consuming far above what we should be consuming. Our consumption is just about half of what it is. For me, the approach would have been to remove the corruption and criminal side of the fuel subsidy.
“Remove the excess demand that is not factual and by doing this, you would have reduced it to like 50%. the remaining 50% is what would have been able to, after consultations with various stakeholders, been able to find a way in an organized manner, remove and showing the proceeds of the removal to be invested in a critical development area.
“When you do it in an organized manner, with proper palliatives that are well structured, not done haphazardly, you would have been able to see Nigerians go along with you.
“Policies like this is not what you just announce haphazardly. They are things you talk through and that’s what we would have done in the labour party.
“What this government has been doing since inception, are announcements with limited thinking which again produces limited outcomes. There must be a coordination between the federal, the state and the local governments in trying to pull through this difficult time.”
The Labour Party’s Candidate also said the usage of dollar within the country should be reduced in other to strengthen the Naira.
He said “Dollar has become what you can call an underground currency of our economy. it shouldn’t be. We have a currency called Naira. All these things that people are using dollar to do which is not productive should be removed and I can tell you it will strengthen the currency.
“Today if people want to do a party primary, they would share dollar. that is not our country’s currency and that should warrant a penalty.”