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Nigeria Needs To Demystify Dollar To Address Its Impact On The Economy, Says Former CIBN President Ajibola

Former CIBN president Ajibola has stressed the need to reduce dollar dependency in Nigeria, citing its pervasive influence in economic decisions.

Former President and Chairman of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Segun Ajibola has emphasised the need for the Nigerian government to demystify the dollar’s role in Nigeria’s economic landscape, citing the impact of the dollar content in the nation as the greatest challenge the country has to face.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, Ajibola said there is need to find a means to stop the dollar from being an imminent ‘determinant factor of whatever deals with us as Nigerians’.

“The greatest challenge that we face is the impact of dollar content in our life as a people and as a country as a whole. That is the number one problem we have not been able to address. The content of the dollar in everything that we have is so high, from the shoes we have, to the clothes we wear as well. So, I think the first challenge is to demystify the dollar in our national life. How do we reduce the impact of dollars in our lives? It affects everything.

“What do we do to address that in a way that the dollar will not be the determinant of whatever that deals with us as Nigerians. Look at what happened in India. The leadership said look, if Indians cannot feed themselves, they should go hungry and if they cannot clothe themselves, they should go naked and as a result of that paradigm shift, India has one of the strongest textile industries in the world today. With 1.3 billion human beings, India is feeding themselves and even exporting food to Nigeria and other countries. These are the kinds of paradigm shifts we need.”

Regarding the issue of borrowing, citing the $2.25 billion single-interest loan Nigeria secured from the World Bank, Ajibola acknowledged its necessity for struggling nations but stressed the importance of judicious utilisation.

He also proposed project-specific loans to boost infrastructure and strengthen the economy, advocating for transparent accountability measures to ensure effective use of the borrowed funds.

“When we talk about borrowing, generally, borrowing by any suffering nation is not the problem. The problem is what you apply that loan to, what comes out of it and what you want to achieve from such a loan when as a suffering nation, there are so many things that surround you; your relationship with your trading partners, creditor nation, debtor nations, your relationship with international financial institutions. All these put together, determine the strength of your economy, viz-a-viz your foreign exchange reserves.”

“Now, if you are talking about the 2.25-billion-dollar loan, the question is where is that loan going? Personally, I do believe that a loan of this nature should be project tied. We should be able to dimension one after the other how the 2.5 billion dollars will be broken down into projects and infrastructure. How do we apply it to strengthen the economy as a whole? So, if we tie the loan to specific projects, then we must bid for accountability around it.”

Chioma Kalu

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