In the wake of the current decline in the value of the Naira, Professor Pat Utomi has issued a warning to the Tinubu administration, urging caution in their approach. Since the announcement of the removal of subsidy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 29th, the Naira has witnessed a 40% loss in value in the exchange market, resulting in increased hardship for Nigerians.
As of now, the Naira stands at 1150/1200 to one US Dollar on the black market. Prof. Utomi believes that if the President and the national assembly fail to prioritize the nation’s well-being, Nigeria will suffer dire consequences. In an interview with Arise News on Monday, he emphasized the urgent need for the political class to come together and acknowledge the impending danger facing their country.
The professor pointed out the importance of national values and commitments, stating that without them, efforts to resolve the crisis would be futile. Drawing on his experience, Prof. Utomi shared insights from his time teaching a class on global financing in 1993. He highlighted the disparity between Asia and Africa, specifically Nigeria, where the purchasing power priority line and currencies did not align. This led to the struggle in creating a proper foreign exchange market, which was eventually demolished, allowing for corruption and money theft.
Furthermore, Prof. Utomi revealed that he had advised the previous governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, against focusing on fiscal policies. Although his advice was rejected, he remains firm in his belief that more action is needed from the current CBN governor, Yemi Cardoso, to address the situation effectively.
It is crucial for the Nigerian government to heed these warnings and take immediate action to salvage the declining Naira. The nation’s future depends on the political class recognizing the gravity of the situation and working collectively to safeguard Nigeria’s economic stability. Only through a united front and a commitment to national values can Nigeria overcome this crisis and prevent further damage to the nation’s economy.