Osun State Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in the April election, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, has enjoined the Federal Government to ensure that the new naira redenomination policy made is beneficial to Nigerians.According to him, the only way by which this can be achieved is for the government to quickly arrest the disquieting specter of mass poverty, unemployment, rising crime wave, urban decay, insecurity, threat to democracy and the rule of law, that the present administration inherited.
Aregbesola, who gave the admonition in a statement issued by his Media Assistant, Mr Gbenga Fayemiwo, said though the desire of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo, was patriotic and well intentioned, various unintended consequences should have been attended to from the beginning. He said: “The policy, however attractive it may be, should have been preceded by a decisive revival of the nation’s comatose macro-economic fabrics. The Federal Government ought to have ensured that the local industries are producing at full capacity.”
Aregbesola expressed regret that till date, the commercial banks have not supported small and medium scale enterprises up to a level that could guarantee the economic security of Nigeria. “Already, the existing inter-bank rates are outrageously high; the cost of funds, sorting of currencies for commercial banks, interest rates are still too high. Worse still, the nation’s foreign exchange market is over-subscribed thereby making Nigeria an import-driven economy”, he said.
The engineer urged the government to do a careful study of various cases of the now repealed Exchange Control Anti-sabotage Decree, adding that “Nigeria should not return to a situation that led to the ignominious importation of 53 suitcases of loads of naira notes during the military era in 1984.”