Exchange Rate Concerns: Pat Utomi Urges the Political Class to Unite and Recognize the Looming Threat to Their Nation.


Professor Pat Utomi has issued a warning to the Tinubu administration, advising them to exercise caution in managing the ongoing depreciation of the Naira.

Since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy on May 29th, the Naira has witnessed a significant 40% decline in its value in the foreign exchange market, further exacerbating the challenges faced by Nigerians. Presently, the Naira is trading at a rate of 1150/1200 to one US Dollar on the black market.

Professor Utomi has emphasized that if both the President and the National Assembly fail to concentrate on saving the nation, Nigeria’s future is at risk.

He expressed his concerns during an interview with Arise News on Monday, stating, “If people don’t prioritize our national values and commitments over personal gain, none of these measures will be effective. The political class must come together and acknowledge that their country is on the brink of collapse.”

He further added, “If Tinubu doesn’t acknowledge this, Nigeria’s future is in jeopardy. This is not a time for business as usual.”

Professor Utomi underscored the significance of a stable foreign exchange market and the need to align purchasing power priorities with currency values. He cited an example from 1993, when he was teaching a class on global financing and explained how Nigeria had experienced currency fluctuations unlike other nations in Asia, leading to a disruption in the purchasing power equilibrium.

He recounted efforts made to establish a robust foreign exchange market in the past and lamented its eventual dismantling, which facilitated corruption. He questioned the surprise at the current state of the economy, given this history.

Professor Utomi revealed that he had advised the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, against delving into fiscal policies, but his counsel was rejected.

“I openly confronted Emefiele when he began to delve into fiscal policy, telling him, ‘That’s not your area of responsibility,’ to which he responded, ‘But no one else is taking action.'”

He also urged the current CBN governor, Yemi Cardoso, to take more substantial actions rather than relying solely on speeches and promises to address the economic challenges facing Nigeria.

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