The Federal Government needs to ensure that the value of the naira against the United States dollar is more “realistic,” the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has said.
She said the US Government would raise the issue in talks with the Nigerian government officials this week.
“Our recommendation is, and we will have discussions about it …, that they should look at the exchange rate and try to make the exchange rate more realistic to what the value of the naira is to the dollar,” Reuters quoted Thomas-Greenfield as telling an audience in Washington on Monday.
President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that he will not devalue the naira. He maintained that devaluing the naira against the dollar would not benefit the poor.
The International Monetary Fund and some stakeholders have, however, said the Federal Government needs to devalue the naira in the face of the persistent pressure on the local currency.
The slump in the price of crude oil, Nigeria’s main foreign exchange earner, has put the economy under stress as scarcity of forex continues to batter businesses and economic activities.
Economic growth has slowed from over six per cent to a little above two per cent.