The Presidency has cautioned Nigerians who are hoarding foreign currencies to stop forthwith, warning that the policies of the government would shock them.
The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Tope Fasua, disclosed this at the “Cowries to Cash” lecture and lunch on Tuesday in Abuja.
He disclosed that the President Bola Tinubu’s administration is working on policies that will strengthen the naira.
The PUNCH reports that there has been a steady rise in the value of the naira owing to the clearing of outstanding FX backlogs owed to banks, leading to significant losses for speculators.
But Fasua said the trend is expected to continue as a result of policies being implemented by the government.
While positing that the fall in the value of the currency of a country is a sign of conquest, he said, “When you want to destroy a country, destroy its currency first.”
Fasua, representing the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, at the event, added, “For those who are speculating and praying and wishing that the currency would become nonsense, I believe that the policies are being rolled out by the Central Bank and the government that I serve, led by the President, will shock some of them.
“You need to listen to the agenda, the man himself (Tinubu) and you will see that the level at which he is thinking is far ahead of most of us.
“You know, he has some very great ideas coming up. Some of them are what you’ve seen reversing the fall in the value of the naira, but he has also challenged us to review forward many of the targets, for example, the idea that Nigeria’s economy will get to a trillion dollars. He wants to achieve it by 2026.
“Some people thought that the naira would continue to lose value. Of course, we can already see what’s going on and who knows, maybe the Naira will strengthen even further to maybe something 500 or 600. I’m beginning to see some of those.”
He said there was going to be some radical reorganisation of the banking sector to make the naira more stable and stronger.
“If you want to position your exports properly, you have to be strategic, even in terms of the value of your currency. So you’re going to see all of these, including efforts from the fiscal side.
“We have patriots running the economy right now. And naysayers have to be very, very afraid,” Fasua added.
In his keynote address at the event, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Olayemi Cardoso, represented by the Director of Banking Supervision, Mr Mustapha Haruna, said the country was going through economic challenges occasioned by several macroeconomic issues linked to some of the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The CBN Governor said the book (Cowries to Cashless) would eloquently capture the evolutionary journey in the history of the CBN particularly with regards to the phenomenal transformation of the Nigerian payment system in the last two or three decades.
This transformation, Cardoso noted, has been deepened by the implementation of the cashless policy.
“One of our strategic priorities in this effort is to foster financial inclusion, and I’m very sure you will also relate to the progress we have made based on the current numbers.
“We have financial inclusion in the neighbourhood of about 64 per cent. Over 64 per cent of Nigerians have access to formal financial services. Our vision is to push the boundaries to over 95 per cent and we are well on course in achieving that objective.”
Cardoso assured that the CBN would continue to collaborate with key stakeholders, particularly the fiscal authorities, to ensure that it addressed a number of the essential issues and challenges currently facing the country.