Why Buhari is angry with CBN

Zenith

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has said that the current flexibility policy recently introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is of no benefit to the economy, Vanguard reports. The CBN had introduced the flexible policy to enable market variables determine the value of the naira. The policy came as an economic and market strategy to systematically devalue the Naira, following its free fall recently. But according to Buhari, the new policy was yet to benefit the country. Speaking after breaking his Ramadam fast with members of the Nigerian business community at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last night, the President said: “I don’t like the returns I get from the CBN concerning the devaluation of the Naira. How much benefit have we derived from naira devaluation in the past? In August 1985, the Naira was N1.3 to a dollar but now you need N300 or N350 to a dollar. What do we derive from that? How much benefit can we derive from this ruthless devaluation of the Naira. “I’m not an economist neither a businessman, I fail to appreciate what the economic explanation is. What has happened to us now is that we have maneuvered ourselves into mono-economy which led to the collapse we are seeing now.”  However, Buhari placed the responsibility of creating jobs on the door steps of the business community. He noted that as part of plans to diversify the economy, 13 states have been identified that can produce rice that will feed the nation in 18 months. He agreed with the business community that Nigeria will be in trouble, describing as disappointing that Nigeria imported things like tomatoes, rice, wheat among others that can be produced in the country. Buhari had, in February in Egypt, said that he was not in support of devaluation of the naira. He said Nigeria, which is not an exporting nation, would be worst hit if the naira was devalued. Also, in March, in Kenya, while addressing Nigerians in that country, Buhari said he won’t kill the naira. However, on June 2, President Muhammadu Buhari supported plans by the CBN to move to a flexible exchange rate market. The president reportedly gave his approval for the CBN to begin implementation of the flexible exchange rate system.