The South-South Chamber of Commerce has rejected further devaluation of the naira as suggested by the European Union, saying it is a “suicide mission”.
The Head of Trade and Economic Section of the EU, Fillippo Amato, on Tuesday suggested that the best way out of recession was for Nigeria to further devalue the naira.
In a statement in Lagos on Wednesday, the President of the Chamber and Chairman, National Economic Recovery Committee, Mr. David Iweta, said that further devaluation of the naira without a vibrant export base would be a ‘suicide mission’.
He said, “I, Prince David Iweta, the President, South-South Chamber of Commerce, say in strong terms that further devaluation of the naira without a vibrant export base is a call for suicide mission for our nation’s economy.
“Only recently the Central Bank of Nigeria, devalued the naira from N197.00 to about N320.00 for imports that are eligible into Nigeria, while about 41 items are barred from enjoying such devalued rates.
“Essential commodities like petroleum products cannot even access forex at the rate of N320.00 to the U.S dollars due to the floating rate of the naira between N450.00 to N500.00 to the U.S dollars.
“This has resulted to hyper-inflation and the forex is not available. The reason, amongst others, that was canvassed for the devaluation which is investors’ confidence is unachievable.”
Iweta advised that the EU should channel 50 per cent (22 billion Euros) of the 44 billion Euros flow to Nigeria under the European External Investment Plan (EEIP) to support the private sector.
He said this would support the private sector initiative to produce non-oil commodities for export.
He said that this would be a better way to create jobs and earn foreign exchange that would strengthen the naira instead of devaluation.NAN