Freda Okhiria, Abuja
The Federal government had in recent times tried to create a false sense of control over the naira when in reality sold at N320/ Dollar as against the official exchange rate at N197/ Dollar.
An economist, Mr. Stephen Onerhime related the decision of the Federal government not to devalue the naira as just a false sense of control, knowing the naira has already been devalued.
Speaking exclusively with Nigerian NewsDirect, he said, “Regarding the value of the Naira against the dollar, devaluation has already occurred. The government is simply trying to create a false sense of control over what they can’t control except by balancing trade and ensuring we have enough reserves to create confidence in the markets.”
For instance, Mr. Onerhime who is also managing director of FutureStock consultant Ltd said, “Let me ask if Nigerians out there have to buy things abroad, how much they for your dollars – N197 or N320?
“Even the banks do not use N197 for foreign exchange and check the exchange rate the bank uses to fix the transaction – it’s about N320.”
Also reacting to whether the budget is implementable with the current vandalism in Niger Delta, he expressed that. “In terms of implementation of the budget the risks are not just with Oil price falling below our $38 benchmark (it’s $41 today) but also not even have enough product to sell due to incessant breakage of pipelines by criminal elements in the Niger Delta – Shell has deferred 250,000 barrels per day and now Chevron another 60,000 or so barrels per day.”