President Muhammadu Buhari asserted on Friday that devaluing the naira would not benefit the majority of Nigerians, according to his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
Addressing members of the Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries, Mr. Buhari said that his position on national currency devaluation has not changed since he served as military leader in the 1980s.
“When I was military Head of State, the IMF and World Bank wanted us to devalue the naira and remove petrol subsidies, but I stood my ground for the good of Nigeria,” he said.
The president explained that when the naira was devalued after his removal from office in 1985, it did little to improve the Nigerian economy.
“How many factories were built and how many jobs were created by the devaluation? That is why I’m still asking to be convinced today on the benefits of devaluation,” the president stated.
According to Mr. Adesina, the president praised the Council for its support of the government’s “Change” agenda.
“I am glad you rightly identified the key issues we campaigned on. We need a dynamic bureaucracy which will not mislead us into taking the wrong decisions,” Mr. Buhari said.
The Council was established in 2004 to allow retired permanent secretaries to advise the government on policy issues.
The chairman of the Council, Chief Philip Asiodu, said the Council wants Mr. Buhari and his administration to succeed in improving the Nigerian economy and moving the country forward.
“We are non-partisan. The interest of Nigeria is paramount to us and we are anxious that you should succeed,” he said to the president.