WE just have a month left in this year, and we should start planning for next year. Already, economists are predicting a tougher 2017, and I hope that the managers of the Nigerian economy should focus on ensuring that the naira stabilises against major currencies of the world, particularly the dollar.
The fall in the price of crude oil has reduced the country’s earning power, and as such, there is less dollar for importers to buy goods from their foreign suppliers. So, we should be looking at how to earn more foreign exchange without relying solely on oil. This is the solution to our problems.
Now, we should start producing what we consume at home. We should also fix the refineries so that we wouldn’t need to be ferrying huge dollars abroad to import petroleum products. I am also happy that in two years, the Dangote refinery will come on board, and this will bring an end to fuel importation in the country.
Again, those things which we can produce in the country should be banned from being imported. Apart from oil, rice importers also demand for forex, but why is it that we cannot produce rice in commercial quantities at home? What we are doing by importing is that we are giving jobs to people in the producing countries, while our youths roam the streets doing nothing. Now, if we increase import tariffs on some items, it will encourage local production of such commodities. Nigerians should be encouraged to go for shoes and bags produced in Aba, instead of going for imported luxury goods. We need to change our mentality for our country’s survival in 2017.
- James Oyibo,