Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has called for the devaluation
of the nation’s currency, the Naira, saying; “With the gap between the
official rate of N199 and open market rate of over N400 to one dollar,
Naira has already been devalued. Therefore, President Mohammadu Buhari
must stop deceiving himself and short-changing Nigerians, especially
States and Local Councils in the country with his Forex Policy.”

Governor Fayose, who said there was no time in the history of Nigeria
that the gap between dollar official rate and open market rate was
more than N200, pointed out that it made no economic sense for the
Federal Government to be calculating the country’s revenue on the
basis of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official rate of N199 to a
dollar while States and Local Councils that are sharing the revenue
with the Federal Government run their businesses at the open market
rate of over N400 to one dollar, thereby causing business to be
folding up by the day and prices of goods skyrocketing everyday.

Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media to the
governor, Lere Olayinka, in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday,
quoted the governor as saying that apart from breeding corruption
through round tripping or foreign exchange arbitrage, Nigerians are
also being duped and middle class Nigerians, the main people that
grows the country’s economy are being decimated.

The governor said President Buhari was applying his 1984 failed
economic policy in which prices of goods were fixed not minding the
cost of supply, such that essential commodities like milk and sugar
became scarce and Nigerians were made to line up in the sun to buy
rationed commodities.

He urged the President to pay more attention to the ailing economy of
the country instead of junketing around the world, wasting $1 million
per foreign trip, saying; “President Buhari has travelled to 24
countries in eight months, and will be spending 16 out of the 29 days
in February outside the country, with over $500,000 being spent on
estacode while the Presidential Air Fleet, which includes fuelling of
the planes and allowances for crew members is said to be in the range
of $500,000.

“The President’s entourage obviously collect their travel allowances
in dollars on official rate of N199 and come back to Nigeria to change
it at the open market rate of N400. That must be the reason they
encourage the President to be junketing abroad when life is becoming
unbearable for Nigerians.”

The governor said; “The situation is such that Nigeria gets say $2
billion revenue in a month, calculates the $2 billion revenue on the
basis of the official CBN rate of N199 and share the revenue among the
three tiers of government.

“In elementary economics, the implication is that when revenue is
calculated based on N199 to one dollar and the federal government will
be declaring say revenue of N400 billion to be shared by the three
tiers of government, the value of revenue that should have been shared
will be over N800 billion at the open market rate of N400 to one

“Meanwhile, the three tiers of government pay salaries to workers on
the basis of N199 per dollar while the workers pay for goods and
services which prices are determined by the open market rate of N400
to one dollar.

“Also, Nigeria is now faced with a situation whereby funds are
obtained from the official forex market (at lower rates) and diverted
to other markets and sold at a higher rate by forex dealing banks and
users, who make billions of naira profit just for doing almost

“Therefore, the reality that we must all accept is that we must allow
the forces of demand and supply to determine the value of our
currency, not administrative fiat. Most importantly, the government
does not have the reserves to keep the naira-dollar rate at its
official level.

“The Naira must therefore be devalued. Anything other than this will
mean that we are deceiving ourselves with forced foreign exchange
rates and it is my position that this regime of deceit must stop.”

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