Senator Adams Oshiomhole says government must intervene to stabilise the country’s currency, the naira, saying market forces cannot do such.
Nigeria’s currency exchanges for close to N1,000 for a dollar in the parallel market and a pound going for around N1,200 months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) floated the naira.
But Oshiomhole, who spoke on the Senate floor during the screening of the CBN governor nominee Yemi Cardoso and four other deputies, called on the government to intervene to save the country’s currency.
“The challenge we deal with now is everybody seems to have submitted completely to the so-called market forces and rely on the invisible eyes of Adams Smith to regulate and determine the value of the naira,” he said Tuesday.
“It is now clear, after Babangida started the devaluation, that the market forces can never stabilise the naira. The state must intervene.”
‘Thinking Outside the Box’
The former Edo State governor wondered how the manufacturing sector of the nation’s economy would grow when the interest rate is on the high side.
“Interest rate cannot be at 20 or 25 per cent and you are expecting the manufacturing sector with investments that require long-term gestation period to grow,” Oshiomhole added.
“Even if you are a drug dealer. You would find that those dealing with drugs in Latin America would be more competitive.”
While calling for “complete thinking outside the box” to remedy the situation, Senator Oshiomole expressed doubts over the West’s praise of some of the government’s policies.
“So, I think there is a need for a complete thinking outside the box. When the West celebrates our free market, no control, and so on, I am always suspicious,” the Edo North lawmaker said.
“We need to interrogate our assumptions. We don’t need to copycat Washington and all these international finance capitals. It is their interest [that they are after]. There is no such thing as a common interest,” the former labour chief maintained.
He, however, believes the new apex bank team should be able to get things on track, expressing hopes that they would help the present government fulfill its campaign promises.