While on a state visit to Kenya, Buhari said allowing the currency fall would result in higher inflation and cause hardship for the poor and middle-class Nigerians.
“Proponents of devaluation will have to work much harder to convince him that ordinary Nigerians will gain anything from it,” Garba Shehu President Buhari’s Spokesperson said.
“The president added that he had no intention of bringing further hardship on the country’s poor who have suffered enough already.”
Speaking with Nigerians living in Kenya, Buhari maintained that while export driven economies could benefit from devaluation of currencies, devaluation will only result in further inflation and hardship for the poor and middle classes in the country’s import dependent economy.
He also rejected suggestions that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should resume sale of foreign exchange to Bureaux de Change (BDCs) adding that BDC business has become a scam and a drain on the economy.
“We had just 74 of the bureaux in 2005, now they have grown to about 2 800,” he noted.
He alleged that some bank and government officials used surrogates to run the BDCs and prosper at public expense by obtaining foreign exchange from government at official rates and selling it at much higher rates.
The President appealed to Nigerians studying abroad to bear with his administration as it strives to address the challenges facing the nation as a result of new foreign exchange measures.
Nigeria government ends year with 5.6 percent rise in revenue
Nigeria’s government revenues rose by 5.6 percent in December to 315 019 billion naira, up from 297 450 billion naira the previous month.
The rise is in spite of a slump in oil prices on the global market and challenges with production locally.
Although the price of oil on the world market is expected to remain low throughout 2016, analysts at FocusEconomics expect Nigeria’s economy to grow 4.1 percent this year spurred by a stable political environment and increased government spending on social welfare and infrastructure.
Permanent Secretary at Nigeria’s Finance Ministry, Mahmoud Isah Dutse, said “shut-ins, shut-down of production for repairs and production shortfall due to technical hitches at different terminals throughout the month,” had a negative impact on crude oil and gas revenue.
He said there was a revenue loss of US$143.96 million because of a reduction in export sales and a drop in the average price of crude to US$43.40 in November from US$49.58 in October.
Nigeria is expected to distribute 387 771 billion naira to its three tiers of government, that is federal, state and local, for the month of January, including revenues, cash from VAT, gains on the exchange rate and refunds from the state oil company of 6.330 billion naira.
Dutse said that US$150 million in dividends from the Nigeria Liquefied Gas Company had already been distributed in December. The Excess Crude Account, Nigeria’s rainy day fund, remained unchanged at US$2.258 billion.
Kenya and Nigeria agree visa deal to boost enterprise
Kenya and Nigeria have agreed a visa deal to encourage more business between the two countries.
Nigeria’s presidential media adviser Femi Adesina said in future there would be free entry for visiting Nigerian and Kenyan businessmen and women, with a visa being granted on arrival without restrictions, as reported by BBC.
Usually visitors from each country have to pay a visa fee when they arrive. The agreement came after trade talks between Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenya.
At Thursday’s meeting, both countries admitted corruption and insecurity were the major threats to their investment progress – but both wanted to push ahead on tourism, oil and mineral, agriculture and textile ventures.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro