Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on Wednesday, joined forces with other Nigerians calling on the President Muhammad Buhari led federal government not to devalue the naira.
He said that the devaluation of the naira would cause a rise in inflation to the detriment of all Nigerians, especially the masses.
He spoke at a symposium tagged: “Curtailing Nigeria’s Centrifugal Forces”, organised to mark the seventh anniversary of the administration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, held at the International Event Centre In Akure, the Ondo state capital.
Anyaoku said the people calling for official devaluation of the Naira should surfaced with a good answer in finding a solution to the basic economic problem confronting the country in its present situation
“There is an incontrovertible fact that with the present level of the country dependent on the imported goods, which results in a monthly import bills that is four times the values of our main export which is traded in dollars.
“The official devaluation of the naira will inevitably produce a further rise in inflation to the detriment of all of us, including the masses.
“In such circumstances, devaluation will lead to an un-acceptable drain on our country external reserve, which is already worryingly depleted.
“The solution to the current world price for crude oil is to device policy for reducing the level of the country’s dependent on foreign goods.
“While in the meantime, allowing the naira to float in unofficial currency market with adequate safe guide being put in place by government to check the management of the foreign exchange”, he said.
He noted that Nigeria as a country had not been a stranger to the centrifugal forces pulling down the economic growth and development of the country.
He classified the centrifugal forces bedeviling the country into three categories and identified them as the perennial social cultural groups, the activists and political division group, with the seriously violent group under which he mentioned the Islamic Boko Harm insurgents and the Fulani herdsmen.
The former Commonwealth Secretary observed that the three aforementioned impediments could be overcome in the face of the economic recession confronting the county, if the present administration of President Mohammad Buhari would adopt the 12 points outcome of the National Conference for a true federalism.
He admonished the Buhari administration to urgently convene an economic summit to be attended by carefully selected expert to address the dwindling financial crisis facing the country.
Senator Ben Murray Bruce, a discussant at the event identified the main problem with the country as its leadership pattern.
He said that there was a need to support only leaders who could make a difference, noting that the people of the country were the most creative on the planet.
He also called on Nigerians to change their orientation towards the country’s value system, while calling for the total overhauling of the federal power that was killing the progress of the sub-state sectors.
Senator Sheu Sani noted that the only solution to the country to overcome the centrifugal forces was for Nigerians to remain united in the struggle to fight all forms of terrorism threatening its peaceful coexistence.
Also, the former information Minister, Labaran Maku, and former Labour party National Chairman, Bar. Dan Nwanyanwu, joined their voices and advocated a more reunited country while noting that the people of Nigeria could not afford a break up, but remained strong and stand firm.
The Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, and Yadoma Bukar Mandara, a public policy analyst jointly called a true federalism and participation of youths in the governance of the country.
Earlier, Governor Olusegun Mimiko in his remarks supported the call for true federalism in the country and urged the president to implement the 2014 National Conference which contained the solution to Nigeria’s challenges.