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Business News of Friday, 20 October 2023


Why naira is weak – ex-finance minister Aganga

Former Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga Former Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga

A former Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, has explained that the naira would continue to experience a free fall if Nigeria remains an import-dependent country.

He said it was not a wise decision to defend the naira with billions without appropriate investments in the manufacturing sector to drive the country’s exports.

Aganga made this known on Thursday at the 3rd Adeola Odutola lecture, during the 51st Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

He added that Nigeria must produce for local consumption and more importantly for export, for the naira to be strong.

Vanguard reports that the local currency plummeted from about 450 per dollar to an average of 760 per dollar following the exchange reforms of President Bola Tinubu.

The naira further weakened to 1045 per dollar on Thursday at the parallel market.

Speaking on the state of the local currency, Aganga said, “What is the wisdom in spending billions defending the naira when it continues to fall instead of investing in genuine manufacturers and exporters of high-value products that would earn Nigeria foreign income and more.”

The former Minister charged the government to declare the industrial sector a national priority sector and back it with plans, policies, and money.

“Unlike the trillions spent on subsidies, bailouts, the Agric Anchor Borrowers Programme, the refineries, I can assure you that every naira, no matter how large, that is well spent on the strategic industrial sectors can be easily recovered and will deliver tremendous benefits to the economy and the nation,” he added.