The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday dismissed the call for further devaluation by the Emir of Kano and immediate past Governor of the bank, Muhammad Sanusi II, saying there would be no further devaluation of the naira.
The emir on Friday had faulted the decision of the apex bank and the federal government not to further devalue the naira amid dwindling price of oil in the international market whilst retaining fuel subsidy.
“It is wrong to continue with the fuel subsidy. It is wrong to continue to pretend that you can keep the naira at a certain level, when the price of oil is falling, without depleting your reserves. You have to make a choice”, Sanusi II said.
Reacting to the monarch’s comment yesterday, the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services Directorate of the CBN, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu said, “We are all aware of the CBN’s official position on this, that there will not be any further devaluation of the naira, and this has been communicated”.
Mr. Adelabu, who was addressing journalists in Lagos, at the sidelines of the Investiture of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), stressed that “We have made the official position known to the public. There could be comments from various quarters of the economy but we have made our official position known”.
Speaking on the theme of the CIBN Investiture, “Diversifying the Revenue base of Nigeria economy”, the CBN Deputy Governor said though Nigeria missed the opportunity to diversify the economy when the crude oil prices where above $100 per barrel, doing so now has become imperative in view of the decline in crude oil prices and revenue.
He said, “The dwindling oil prices, reduction in volume of crude oil production are affecting us, with revenue nose diving, because we relied so much on crude oil. We lost the opportunity to diversify between 2009 and 2014 because we had relative stability in exchange rate, and oil prices went up as high as $110.
“We should have diversified in the period of boom. Now we don’t need anybody to teach us that we have to look at other areas of revenue. This is a challenge to everybody especially to the banking industry.
“Banks need to look at other sectors in terms of lending. Fortunately we are blessed with almost every resource on the earth.
“Agriculture is a sector we must focus on. We have lots and lots of solid mineral resources; and we should focus on developing them. Most importantly, we have to patronise local products”.
“Every Nigerian should de-emphasise consumption of imported goods, because by doing so, we are helping other countries. We should all patronise locally made goods”, Adelabu added.