By Kurtis Adigba

Why Do You Think Nigeria Will Have a Good Exchange Rate?

Posted on: September 7, 2020

Why shouldn’t we have a poor exchange rate to other currencies when we are the highest consumers of luxury goods in the world? 

We have more Lexus, Mercedes, Toyota, BMWs, Rolls Royce, Bentley, and other vehicles in Nigeria than all other African Countries combined.

We buy the most expensive and exotic Private Jets, Designer Watches, Shoes and clothes, Diamonds, Gold and Silver Trinkets. Our people buy the most expensive Handbags (LV, Prada, DG, Armani, etc) in the World.

We don’t produce or manufacture any of these things. We have to change the Naira into Dollars, and buy these things in one-bullet payment, because we do not have a viable credit system, and we cannot be trusted to faithfully pay up as and when due

We import everything. We import tires for our luxury vehicles. We ferry or fly some of the vehicles overseas for maintenance. We used to manufacture tires in Nigeria; Dunlop, Michelin, and others, we don’t anymore. We used to Assemble Peugeot, Volkswagen, Daihatsu, and others, we now import them. Our Textile Factories are largely dead. China, Vietnam, and India, are now flooding our markets with cheap clothes and shoes.

We are spending money to import what we used to produce. How can the exchange rate be good?

Nigeria is spending money to import what she used to produce. How can the exchange rate be good?

Kurtis Adigba

We had four Refineries meeting our local consumption. Today, they have refused to be Turned Around after sinking billions of dollars because we politicized the repairs. The Companies that built them don’t get the job to Turn them Around, it is our political cronies without the needed competence, that gets the job. Today, we are importing what we used to produce. Why should our exchange rate be good.

We have many of our children going to school overseas. In fact, for those who can afford it (I’m guilty here), schooling in Nigeria for their children is unthinkable. We are paying ten times averseas what we should be paying in Nigeria, if our system is competitive. Most of the people in charge of affairs today and before, attended school free and had the best of everything.

We are traveling overseas to be treated for common ailments. We used to respect and adore our Teaching Hospitals. No more. We want to be allowed to import everything. I told my wife that if the government permits, some will import sand from abroad to build houses in Nigeria so they boast that “ everything in this House came from abroad”. 

We want the government to restore parity in the exchange regime, but we don’t want any thing restricted or banned from being imported into the country. Attempts by the government are interpreted as attacks on certain demographics or ethnic groups. The government cannot decree a return of manufacturing companies to the country, it can only provide the enabling environment that will stimulate confidence in investors.

When next you want to compare our currency to others, provide a context.

How do you think we can combat this menace?

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Kurtis Adigba

Kurtis Udenyi Adigba is an Attorney at law and a political consultant. His greatest passion is to see Nigeria make real progress and to take her rightful place in the world. He is keen on improving and enhancing the processes of democracy. He believes that politics is the greatest force for doing the greatest good and is not a blood sport as many people think.
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