FX crisis: Tinubu approves N75bn for manufacturers, begs Nigerians to buy local goods

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has said the gradual appreciation of the Naira against the Dollar was due to a sustained effort to check forex volatility in the country.

The President called on Nigerians to support the initiative by patronising locally produced goods to further strengthen the value of the Naira and reduce hardship in the country.

Tinubu spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who addressed journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.

According to the Presidency, there is already a noticeable measure being taken by the regulatory body to firm up the nation’s currency, which has started to yield results.

Speaking further on the Federal Government’s resolve to put the suffering of the masses to an end, Ngelale said the Tinubu administration wants to ensure that those industries and sectors that are massively employing people would be prioritized with respect to government intervention.

Ngelale said the plan has culminated in the approval of over N75 billion to be disbursed to 75 large-scale manufacturers across all states of the federation.

He said a larger chunk of the interventions would go to manufacturers who employ over 1,000 Nigerians in each of their facilities and industries.

According to him, the objective is to see that large-scale industries do not just refuse to fire people but actively increase and expand their hiring.

Ngelale said, “I’m certain that everyone seated here and indeed Nigerians at large have witnessed the seismic shifts that have taken place within the nation’s foreign exchange market over the last several days and the strengthening of the Nigerian naira against the United States dollar.

“This is clearly the direction all of us have wanted to head. And we are very sober to the fact that this is no time to rest or to clap. This is a time to deepen our efforts to dig in and to work harder, which is why His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has approved a series of interventions to ensure that we see a mass strengthening of the Nigerian Naira against all other global currencies.

“One, His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu wants to communicate very clearly to our people, that there has never been a more important time in our history to actively agree together that we will patronize and purchase made-in-Nigeria products across all value chains across all sectors.

“There is an intentionality that we must have on this issue that we want a strong currency, we want the spending power of our people to go up. We want every naira and kobo we earn to be more valuable not just here. But when we travel abroad, the way to achieve that is by doing just this.

“In addition to that, His Excellency Mr President beyond the appeal to Nigerians to actively and intentionally make that decision every day to patronize made-in-Nigeria products and services across the board, he is also wanting to ensure that Nigerians fully understand that the momentum that we are now seeing with respect to the strengthening of our currency is not going to slow down.

“The efforts that Mr President has put in place with collaboration with other agencies of government, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria, in dealing decisively with sharp practices on certain cryptocurrency trading platforms, dealing decisively with sharp practices within the parallel market of the foreign exchange ecosystem that these things are now yielding fruit.”

The presidential spokesman equally assured that Tinubu is intent on increasing the spending power of the people and dealing with the issue of minimum wage.

He said Nigerians should expect the momentum of the Nigerian Naira and its strengthening to continue.

“We understand that there’s still going to be volatility to some extent, but we are seeing a lessening impact of that volatility, and as we move forward with the interventions Mr President is making in the foreign exchange market and will continue to make we will see increasing stability.

“The last point we want to emphasize is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is dealing decisively with the issue of the spending power of every naira and kobo that Nigerians are earning today.

“He is also ensuring that we bring a sustainable strength to the currency so that when we talk about a new minimum wage, because many of our people have asked when the new minimum wage is coming in, those negotiations are ongoing.

“But what we do not want is a situation in which the minimum wage continues to be what it has always been in the history of our country, which is a moving goalpost.

“If we do not get a firm grip on the value of our currency and it continues to be a volatile, devaluing asset, then whatever we do with the national minimum wage is going to essentially become a moot point, nullity. And so we are focused on ensuring that yes, we arrive at a new minimum wage that states can afford, and that will deal with all of the needs of Nigerian families across the country.

“But we also want to ensure that what we peg it at is sustainable over a number of years based on the long-term, you know, stability that we want to bring to the Nigerian Naira with the interventions we’re presently making.

“And this is the point that His Excellency Mr. President wants to emphatically make today.

“There is stability coming to the currency, we’re getting closer to it, and when the new minimum wage comes into effect, it is going to be one that will be sustained over a long period of time by a stable Nigerian Naira based on the interventions being made under his leadership.”

Ngelale noted that the Tinubu administration will prioritize manufacturers who employ higher number of people for government intervention.

He said this is important so that Nigerians who rely on large-scale manufacturers are protected.

He added: “We want to ensure that those industries and sectors that are massively employing our people are prioritized with respect to government intervention, which is why the President has approved over N75 billion to be dispersed to 75 large-scale manufacturers across all states of the federation.

“These are going to be manufacturers who employ over 1000 Nigerians in each of their facilities and industries. We are going to ensure that they have the support that they need at the large scale so that Nigerian families who rely on these large-scale businesses are protected.

“We want to see our large-scale industries, not just refuse to fire people but actively increase and expand their hiring at this difficult time.

“So the President is doing everything he can to ensure that he steps in to ease the burden on families while also ensuring that he holds the public sector and the Federal Government of Nigeria accountable to prudent spending, ensuring that we cut down drastically on travel expenditures, ensuring that with the temporary ban that is being put in place from April 1 on all but necessary foreign travel, we’re expecting to save over N5 billion per quarter.

“This is going to be one out of several initiatives the President is taking to ensure that we reduce waste in the public sector in such a way that we can actually steer these very needed recurrent resources into the hands of those who are doing important work on behalf of the Nigerian people”.

 

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