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April 20, 2024

Refusal to crash prices causing unjustifiable hardship on Nigerians — CNG

Refusal to crash prices causing unjustifiable hardship on Nigerians — CNG

By Fortune Eromosele, Abuja

The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has condemned the outright refusal of some businesses to crash the prices of their goods despite the Naira gaining against the Dollar.

CNG in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, in Abuja on Saturday, called on the federal government to intensify efforts in ensuring businesses comply with the current economic realities.

They said, “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) expresses its deep concern over the unjustified prices of goods and services in the market despite the recent crash of the US dollar against the naira.

“The CNG views this as an exploitation of the Nigerian people and a blatant disregard for the economic realities of the country by unpatriotic business entities.

“The CNG observed that naira has recorded a significant appreciation against the US dollar, with the exchange rate currently between N900 – N1,000 to a dollar, down from N1,900 to a dollar in recent months.

“Regrettably, businesses have maintained their fleecing of Nigerians by refusing to adjust the prices to reflect the current market reality despite the recent appreciable gain by naira.

“The CNG strongly condemns this unpatriotic act by businesses, which is causing untold hardship to Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable and low-income earners; describing it as totally unacceptable.

“The CNG calls on the Federal Government to devise means to ensure that businesses comply with the current exchange rate and adjust their prices accordingly for the benefit of Nigerians.”

The Coalition lauded the National Security Adviser as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria for their efforts in stabilizing the Naira.

The group welcomed Dangote’s diesel price adjustment and called for the sale of crude oil in Naira to domestic refineries.

CNG said, “On this note, the CNG wishes to commend the efforts of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other relevant agencies for their efforts to stabilize the naira.

“The CNG notes that the recent measures taken by the NSA and CBN to strengthen the naira have been successful, leading to a significant reduction in the dollar exchange rate.

“The CNG, therefore, calls for sustainability of the measures to ensure stability of the naira that would culminate in stronger naira of below N500 to a dollar in the nearest future.

“Furthermore, the CNG reiterates its call on President Bola Tinubu to wholly support Office of the NSA and the CBN to decisively deal with any economic saboteurs who are try to derail the successes recorded for their selfish end to the detriment of Nigerians.

“In the same vein, the CNG warmly welcomes Dangote’s diesel price adjustment that slashed about 60% to reflect current rebound value of naira, describing it commendable gesture that is worthy of emulation by other businesses in Nigeria.

“Thus, the CNG appeals to the government to consider selling crude oil to the Dangote Refinery and any other interested local refiner in naira as doing so would make fuel more affordable to Nigerians thereby breaking away from dollar-dependent value.

“The CNG believes that selling crude oil to the Dangote Refinery in naira will not only help reduce price of fuel in the country but will also be immensely beneficial to the Nigeria economy as a practical solution that will have a positive impact on the lives of millions of Nigerians.

“The CNG also regrets that some state governors are allegedly diverting public funds to engage in forex business, which has led to the strengthening of the US dollar against the naira with attendant negative consequences on the masses.

“The CNG reminds such governors that public funds allocated to them to provide for critical needs of their people such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure are a trust that must be accounted for before a man or before the Almighty God.

“At this juncture, the CNG commends Nigeria for prosecuting Binance officials to face justice for tax evasion and other crimes to the Nigerian economy while calling for collaboration with the Interpol in ensuring that the official who escaped from Nigeria is repatriated to face justice in the country.

“It is soothing to note that National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) recently noted that it would likely reimburse excess funds pilgrims who have made payments when dollar prices were high due to appreciation of naira.

“The CNG, to this end, applauds a few businesses that have adjusted their prices downward to go in tandem with the current value of naira that is steadily appreciating.”