Buhari and other African leaders at the summit

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his opposition to the devaluation of the naira, saying Nigeria cannot compete with developed nations that produce to compete among themselves and can afford to devalue their local currencies.

Buhari said this at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, yesterday while contributing to a presidential panel round table on Investment and Growth Opportunities at the opening session of the Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World.
President Buhari told the forum that there was no basis for Nigeria to devalue her currency as the country was neither competing nor exporting, but importing everything including toothpicks.

“Developed countries are competing among themselves and when they devalue they compete better and manufacture and export more. But we are not competing and exporting but importing everything including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?” he asked.

Buhari also stated that those who had developed taste for foreign luxury goods should continue to pay for them rather pressure his administration to devalue the naira.

President Muhammadu Buhari said the priority of his administration was to ensure national food security before export of food products.

“We want to be more productive and self-sufficient in food and other basic things such as clothing. For our government, we like to encourage local production and efficiency”, he stated.

According to him, Nigeria, being a mono-economy dependent on oil, and with a teeming unemployed youth population, the way-out of the current slump in the global oil market is for his government to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development.

“The land is there and we need machinery inputs, fertiliser and insecticides”, the president said.

President Buhari expressed optimism that Nigeria would get out of its current economic downturn.

The president also told the forum that another major factor militating against economic revival was the huge resources deployed towards fighting insurgency and international terrorism.

He thanked the international community for its support for administration’s fight against terrorism as well as cooperation in tracing looted funds stashed away in foreign countries.

While answering a question on his performance in office so far, Buhari said his administration had been quite focused on three fundamental issues of securing the country, reviving the economy and stamping out corruption.

“The message on corruption has been driven home vividly and Nigerians are very acceptable to the message,” he said.

President Buhari disclosed that those accused of stealing public funds are co-operating by voluntarily providing useful information while investigations and prosecutions are ongoing.
Earlier in his opening address, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed he need for Africa to concentrate on transforming into knowledge societies using innovation and research.

The presidents of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia also participated at the round table.

The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said “Africa must think big, act big and develop big.”

Before leaving Egypt, President Buhari and his Egyptian host, held a bilateral talk on security, military cooperation, agriculture and solid minerals development.

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Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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