A former Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, has explained that the naira would continue to be weak if the country remains an import-dependent country.
Aganga speaking on Thursday at the 3rd Adeola Odutola lecture, during the 51st Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, said Nigeria must produce for local consumption and more importantly, for export, for the naira to be strong.
According to reports, the local currency fell from about 450/dollar to an average of 760/dollar following the exchange reforms of President Bola Tinubu.
The local currency plunged to 1045/dollar on Thursday at the parallel market.
But Aganga, speaking on the free fall of the naira, 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 said.