I would have devalued Naira — Peter Obi

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The candidate of the Labour Party in the February 2023 Presidential election, Peter Obi has stated he would have devalued the currency if he were the President.

Mr. Peter Obi disclosed this during an interview on AriseTv on the state of the nation in commemoration of Nigeria’s 63rd Independence celebration.

While commenting on what he would have done differently to stabilize the naira in the wake of the current managed devaluation and the severe batting of the naira.

He noted that the new leadership should have worked on eliminating the criminality and excesses in our exchange rate market before going about floating the currency.

He emphasized that currency float should be a carefully thought-out process and not something that is announced haphazardly.

“Nobody floats a currency without having adequate supply. Without supply, there will be pressures and criminality in the exchange rate regime.
“We should have worked on eliminating the pressures and criminality because the strong unmet demands put the naira under pressure and a bit over-valued.
So, what we should have done is to devalue the currency. We were at four hundred and something before now, a devaluation would have put us at six hundred and something and that would have been it,” he said.

When asked whether he’ll devalue the currency, Mr Obi affirmed “That’s what I would have done. I would devalue the currency.”

On June 14, 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the unification of the foreign exchange market which threw the value of the naira in the hands of market forces of demand and supply.

Since then, the naira has fallen from N471/$ to around N1000/$- losing over 100% of its value. This together with the deregulation of the PMS market has contributed to rising inflation in the country.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, (NBS), inflation for August stood at 25.80%- the highest in 18 years.