IN just a year, the naira has fallen from being N150 against the United States dollars, to about N420 at the moment. No one ever imagined the naira could suffer such huge loss in a spate of one year.
It is high time the Nigerian government called a national conference to discuss how to save our economy. We don’t want a situation whereby our currency will be as useless as the Zimbabwean currency.
While not hoping to see overnight changes in government policies, we can start by curbing our over-dependence on imported goods. This is the pressure that is making the naira to fall against major currencies of the world.
Fuel importation is one of the areas the government should focus on. We spend a huge percentage of our foreign exchange earnings to import fuel when we have refineries. Although our refineries are moribund, the Federal Government should do everything in its power towards ensuring that they return to full production. The importation of rice is another area that the government should focus on. Rice is a staple food of Nigerians, but unfortunately, we are not growing enough to meet local demand. This is the reason importation of the commodity is booming. The simple logic here is that we need huge forex to import rice, while we are also providing jobs for Asian rice farmers.
If the Federal Government can reduce the importation of these two commodities, then I believe we are on our way towards overcoming our economic problems.
- Linus Okon,