Soji Ajibola, Ibadab
The Nigeria Patriotic Quest (NPQ), has attributed the continuous fall in the value of naira to oil theft, pipeline vandalization, global economic challenges among other factors.
The Coordinator of the group, Ahmed Ja’Usman Tijani, who cautioned Nigerians against attributing the persistent decline in the value of naira to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, noted that it was wrong on the part of some politicians and their agents to blame the present value of naira at the International market on Emefiele.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, Tijani noted that since well meaning Nigerians and non-political groups cum organisations have started mounting pressure on Emefiele to contest the presidential election in 2023, some political elements in the Country have been feeling uncomfortable.
According to him, whoever is blaming Emefiele for the dwindling economic fortune of the Country has lost touch with the global economic challenges and its effect on the Country.
The coordinator who described the authors and writers of various articles and commentaries against Emefiele as political propagandists, noted that between 2015 and 2020 the decline in the price of the crude oil at the international market dealt a severe blow on the nation’s economy.
He added that the situation was made worse with the nation’s mono economic policy which leaves the nation at the receiving end.
‘’We are an import dependent economy, as we import most of our major consumer and industrial goods including food, toiletries, textiles, cars, machineries etc. This resulted in very high demand for dollars in the face of ever dwindling forex inflows. Of course, this also impacted the value of the Naira negatively,” he said.
He argued that the persistent and drastic drop in the price of crude oil starting from 2015 up till the end of 2020, dealt a severe blow on the country as a mono-product export economy, adding that crude oil suffered a decline in price at the International market.
”It will be recalled that by the end of March 2020, Nigeria’s Brent crude was averaging $25 per barrel with Bonny Light even doing worse at $21 per barrel. We should not forget, that it was at this time that several cargoes of Nigerian crude oil were sailing the high seas with no takers.
‘’We should further bear in mind that this was at the time when Russia and Saudi Arabia were engaged in the mutually destructive oil price war that wreaked havoc on the economy of most oil-producing nations, especially Nigeria.
”This situation affected the inflow of dollars into the economy and as expected led to the drop in the value of the Naira, due to a surfeit of Naira pursuing very scarce dollars. To put this in stark relief, the nation’s foreign reserves plunged from a high of $47 billion in 2012 to about $33 billion dollars in 2020,” the statement said.
The coordinator highlighting other factors militating against the value of naira, said that Covid 19 pandemic also affected the economy of the nation, as a result of the lockdown of most areas of national life and the resultant negative impact on productivity and employment.
He however noted that Emefiele deserves accolades rather than condemning his various policies that are aimed at revamping the economic situation of the country.
”The way and manner Emefiele has managed to combine the traditional duties of the CBN with interventions in the major sectors of the economy are the reasons for our unflinching support for him to contest the presidency of Nigeria in 2023.
”We are staunch believers in his capacity, given the impact he has made in diverse areas of the economy,” the statement said.