‘I am in Charge of the Naira’, Buhari Tells BBC
President Muhammadu Buhari has again, made it clear that he has usurped the role of the Central Bank Governor and is managing the monetary policy of Nigeria by himself.
Buhari made this disclosure to the foreign press on his current UK trip. This disclosure comes on the heels of a falling Naira and collapsing economy.
The CBN Act of 2007 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gave the Bank the overall control and administration of the monetary and financial sector policies of the Federal Government. One of the objectives of the CBN under the act is to “ensure monetary and price stability.”
Buhari has made it clear that he is playing the role of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria reducing the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) ineffective.
Speaking to BBC, on Friday, February 5, 2016, Buhari insisted that devaluation of the Naira was against his personal beliefs and since he didn’t see any value in the move, he was not going to devalue the Naira. “I am yet to be convinced,” Buhari said. The Nigerian President said he would “have to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that devaluing the naira was the best course of action before approving such and that so far he is not”.
This is the second time in as many weeks that Buhari would make this assertion about the devaluation of the Naira. The first was at a town hall meeting with Nigerians in Ethiopia last week. But this time, he used much stronger words like “murder the Naira”.
“I have asked the governor of central bank and others to sit and see if they can convince me to murder the Naira. I went through devaluation in 1984. It’s SAP that killed the Naira,” he said.
Analysts have slammed Buhari’s approach to the management of the Naira. Bloomberg has declared that Buhari’s role of governor of the CBN was unproductive to the Nigeria.
The difference between official exchange rates and the parallel market is at an all time high to the detriment of small businesses and the economy.
Buhari also declared that Ibrahim Babangida’s Structural Adjustment Programme of the 80s was responsible for the fall in the value of the Naira. General Ibrahim Babangida ousted General Buhari from power in a well-received military coup in 1985. Babangida ruled Nigeria as a military head of state from 1985 to 1993.
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