Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nigeria: Buhari Rejects Devaluation
Nigeria’s president Mohammed Buhari on Wednesday rejected calls to devalue the country’s currency saying he will not kill the naira.

While on a state visit to Kenya, Buhari said allowing the currency fall would result in higher inflation and cause hardship for the poor and middle-class Nigerians.

“Proponents of devaluation will have to work much harder to convince him that ordinary Nigerians will gain anything from it,” Garba Shehu President Buhari’s Spokes person said.

“The president added that he had no intention of bringing further hardship on the country’s poor who have suffered enough already.”

Speaking with Nigerians living in Kenya, Buhari maintained that while export driven economies could benefit from devaluation of currencies, devaluation will only result in further inflation and hardship for the poor and middle classes in the country’s import dependent economy.

He also rejected suggestions that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should resume sale of foreign exchange to Bureaux de Change (BDCs) adding that BDC business has become a scam and a drain on the economy.

“We had just 74 of the bureaux in 2005, now they have grown to about 2,800,” he noted.

He alleged that some bank and government officials used surrogates to run the BDCs and prosper at public expense by obtaining foreign exchange from government at official rates and selling it at much higher rates.

The President appealed to Nigerians studying abroad to bear with his administration as it strives to address the challenges facing the nation as a result of new foreign exchange measures.

Kenya and Nigeria hold bilateral talks

Improving on trade and tackling terrorism were the major issues that topped the agenda of the bilateral talks between Kenya and Nigeria when the two heads of state met on Thursday in Nairobi Kenya.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta echoed the need to have unity among African nations to combat security threats posed by various terror groups within the continent

“That kind of solidarity between us as African brothers and sisters sends a very strong message to the enemies of peace, to the enemies of tolerance, that we as Africans stand united in our efforts to defeat this enemy and to ensure that we are able to strongly push and advocate tolerant, democracy, social just and prosperous societies that are inclusive,” he said.

Nigeria that has suffered a lot from the Islamist insurgency Boko Haram who have so far killed thousands and taken hundreds of hostages. Kenya on the other hand are facing the same threat from Al-Shabaab who recently had attacked a Kenyan army base in Somali.

The two leaders agreed to promote trade ties as they pointed out that intra-Africa trade and investment was key to African integration.

“We are going to benefit a lot from agriculture in Kenya, that’s why the minister of agriculture and rural development is part of my team here,” Buhari said.

Buhari is on a three-day visit to Kenya and is scheduled to meet with the Kenyan and Nigerian business community.

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