By Abimbola Johnson –
Nigerians have reacted to the continuous fall in the country’s currency as against the dollar and other (major) foreign currencies.
The naira, on Wednesday, recorded its worst value against some foreign currencies in the parallel market as the local currency exchanged at N380 a dollar, N505 a pound sterling and N395 a euro in Abuja while in Lagos, Naira traded at N375 a dollar, N504 a pound sterling and N396 to a euro.
This development has elicited reactions from concerned Nigerians who bear the brunt of the declining value of the Naira.
Reacting, some Nigerians who spoke to The Whistler expressed frustration over the free fall of the naira.
A concerned Nigerian, Ayodeji Agidigbi, said it is worrisome that the naira keeps depreciating, adding that the inflation has affected all spheres of the economy.
According to him, “It is sad the rate at which the naira keeps depreciating, and I must confess Nigerians are not finding it funny.
“There is inflation in all spheres of the economy and Nigerians are indeed groaning. Business men and women can no longer import goods due to the fall in naira. It has reduced the purchasing power of citizens abroad.
“Nigerians can no longer go on holidays abroad, the sick can no longer travel for treatments, and students who school cannot afford to pay their school fees.
“Investors are not willing to come into the country because the fall in naira keeps reducing the value of their holdings.”
Another Nigerian who identified himself as Uyiosa Asemota said that if care is not taken, Nigeria may record N1000 to a dollar.
While stating that the fall in the country’s currency is a great bother, Asemota noted that the prices of goods and services are already being affected.
He said, “We are heading to 1000 steadily at almost a speed of light. I sincerely feel the CBN especially has lost it, their unrealistic and area boy approach to regulating the supposed dollarisation of the economy is a complete miss.
“I am one of those who believes that even if we all start buying and consuming made in Nigeria Goods that will still not give strength to our naira.
“I just feel in the attempt to try and curb corruption, and block supposed route through which money leaves this country, they made a huge blunder.
“This we are experiencing is far more than the effect of the fall in oil price.
“The inconsistency in monetary policies, coupled with no clear economic blue print for the country is responsible. Then the icing on the cake been the fall in crude oil price.”
An economist and member of the Board of Economists of Daily Trust, Mallam Sanusi Abubakar, who spoke to the medium on the situation, said that contrary to the perception of many, devaluation will not help exporters.
“Actually it will not. As is the case in Nigeria, manufactures or farmers of exportable goods are themselves importers of a lot of machinery, spares or raw materials, so their costs would in turn increase, and they would lose even the current market advantages or penetrations they already have.
“Globally, manufacturers today actually import many of their inputs. They would end up exporting less because their production costs may end up being higher.
“The flip side of the argument is itself problematic. Imports would certainly look less attractive as we have to buy the dollar with more and more naira. But will total imports decline? Non-essential imports may, and people would try to substitute some items with cheaper or locally produced ones. Essential imports would continue even at higher costs.
“Pharmaceuticals, surgical tools, chemicals, reagents, machines and their spares, raw materials and even textiles and foods would be more expensive, but their imports would continue by an elite who have grabbed most of the nation’s wealth and are used to certain life styles” he said.
The fall of the Naira was occasioned by the fall in crude prices and deepened by Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) restrictive monetary policy.
You will recall that the CBN allowed the Bureaux De Changes (BDCs) to source for the foreign exchange independently from the market and suspended its weekly auctions to them, a move that has allegedly been a contributing factor to the dollar scarcity.
Nigerians have therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast before the country, which is supposedly Africa’s largest economy, is brought to a total standstill.
They further called on the president to put together his economic team and think out of the box in order to save Nigeria from going into a complete recession.