By Hussaina Yakubu
The Coalition of Northern Youth Groups (CNYG) has faulted comments attributed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in which he called for further devaluation of Nigeria’s currency.
In a statement issued on Wednesday in Kaduna by CNYG Convener, Yusuf Amoke, said although the vice president chairs the National Economic Management Team Committe, his knowledge on economic matters is limited, because he is not an economist.
The coalition noted that the naira had been devalued a number of times “either deliberately or forcefully by elements of the market, and surprisingly there has been no economic prosperity to commensurate the devaluation of the currency, instead the economy keeps biting harder”.
“Further devaluation of naira means more poverty, more insecurity, more restiveness and more death in the land,” the coalition added.
The CNYG said, “It is obvious that there is no magic the CBN governor or any other person can do to improve on the economy because the economy is an importation economy; there is less dollar within the system but high demand to import and go for medical and educational tourism.
“This is because it’s only oil that brings dollar into the system and unfortunately the subsidy regime and the importation of refined product, further takes away the dollar that is suppose to support the economy.
“Instead of castigating the CBN governor, he should be hailed for keeping the monitory system afloat despite overwhelming pressure on the dollar.”
The coalition, therefore, said that to insist on further devaluation of the naira indicated “complete ignorance of the economy and its operations”.
“It is on this basis that we call on Mr Vice President to keep that opinion of his to devalue the naira to himself and allow the CBN governor and other sister agencies to keep doing what they can, to help the economy.
It also advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow the vice president to head the economic management team, “because he is a good lawyer but a bad economist”.
“Mr President should encourage the position of the CBN governor not to devalue the naira, but instead create ways that will strengthen the currency.
“Mr President should distance the VP from commenting and or interfering on anything that has to do with the economy of this country, because he has over time proven to be a bad economist.
“We shall not allow anybody to use his or her office to project unpopular polices that will plunge Nigerians into further poverty. The one the masses are faced with is enough.”