President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said he was yet to be convinced that the vast majority of ordinary Nigerians would derive any tangible benefit from devaluation of the Naira. The president said this at a meeting with members of the Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries in Abuja. He said that he still held the conviction which motivated his principled resistance to devaluation in his first tenure as head of state.
“When I was military head of state, the IMF and the World Bank wanted us devalue the naira and remove petrol subsidy but I stood my grounds for the good of Nigeria. The naira remained strong against the dollar and other foreign currencies until I was removed from office in August, 1985 and it was devalued.
“But how many factories were built and how many jobs were created by the devaluation? That is why I’m still asking to be convinced today on the benefits of devaluation,” he said. Buhari welcomed the council’s pledge of support for the successful implementation of his administration’s change agenda, especially in the priority areas of improving security, curbing corruption and revitalising the national economy.
“I am glad you have rightly identified the key issues we campaigned on. We need a dynamic bureaucracy which will not mislead us into taking wrong decisions,” he added.
The Pioneer Chairman of the council, Chief Philip Asiodu, expressed the readiness of members of the council to assist in ensuring the success of Buhari-led administration. We are non-partisan. The interest of Nigeria is paramount to us and we are anxious that you should succeed,” Asiodu said.