The position of the presidency was made through the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu on “Politics Today”, a Programme of the Channels Television, monitored in Abuja.
Speaking against the background of a protest by some Nigerians in Abuja on Friday who called for immediate action to curb the disparity between Naira and US Dollar, Shehu said that but for some measures already taken by the government, the situation would have been worse than it is presently.
Notably, Naira is presently at its worse times, chasing the US Dollar at N500 per Dollar.
Shehu said: “Unfortunately, I am not an expert in these matters but to my layman’s understanding, we have a Dollar crisis. Dollar inflow into Nigeria is short. Whatever that is short in terms of supply creates demand in high proportions. It would have been worse if the government has not taken quite a number of measures including the restriction of our scares foreign exchanges to sectors that are very critical, that create jobs, that generate income to the country.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN had already dismissed those protests. In a system, no matter how rotten it is, it produces beneficiaries. People are happy with the old order, when people will go, take US Dollar form the CBN, and go to the Bureau De Change. Now, CBN doesn’t sell Dollars. It is the commercial banks that sell. What I think needs to be done is that beyond the government, all of us as Nigerians have a responsibility. What do we do? Let us be more creative, try to export more, try to produce local goods that sell abroad, so that more Dollars would come. Let us continue to stabilize the ongoing situation in the Niger Delta so that earnings from the oil sector are not disrupted. When we have more Dollars coming in, they will sell cheaper.”
On the Gambian political crisis, the Presidential spokesman said that though the presidency was still awaiting the official outcome of the mediation led by President Buhari as the Chief Mediator of ECOWAS in the matter, hopes were high that the matter would be amicably resolved between outgoing President Jammeh and the President-Elect, Adama Barrow.