Former Edo State Governor and Senator Adams Oshiomhole has emphasized the necessity of government intervention to stabilize Nigeria’s currency, the naira, asserting that market forces alone are insufficient for this task.
As of recent, the naira has been trading at nearly N1,000 to a dollar in the parallel market, with the pound also commanding approximately N1,200. These developments come several months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) adopted a floating exchange rate policy.
During a Senate session, while screening the CBN governor nominee, Yemi Cardoso, and four other deputies, Senator Oshiomhole stressed the importance of government action to safeguard the nation’s currency.
He voiced his concerns, stating, “The challenge we deal with now is everybody seems to have submitted completely to the so-called market forces and rely on the invisible eyes of Adams Smith to regulate and determine the value of the naira. It is now clear after Babangida started the devaluation, that the market forces can never stabilize the naira. The state must intervene.”
Senator Oshiomhole also highlighted the adverse effects of high interest rates on the manufacturing sector, which is essential for economic growth. He remarked, “Interest rate cannot be at 20 or 25 per cent, and you are expecting the manufacturing sector with investments that require a long-term gestation period to grow.”
Calling for innovative solutions, he urged for “complete thinking outside the box” to address the situation. Senator Oshiomhole expressed scepticism about the West’s praise for certain government policies and stressed the importance of safeguarding Nigeria’s interests rather than mimicking international financial capital.
While maintaining reservations about copying the Western approach, he expressed hope that the new leadership team at the apex bank would work towards fulfilling the government’s campaign promises and addressing economic challenges.