Petroleum imports mounting pressure on naira, says Mutallab

The huge amount spent on the importation of petroleum products is putting serious pressure on the naira, the Chairman, Jaiz Bank Plc, Umaru Mutallab has said.

While speaking at the Daily Trust Board of Economists breakfast meeting held on Thursday in Abuja, Mutallab said the inability of the country’s refineries to perform effectively is a major reason for the pressure on the naira. Apart from petroleum importation, he said the country spent huge amount in foreign exchange on importing food items, noting that this is causing another problem in the foreign exchange market.

He called for the development of the agriculture sector to help in the production of foods that could substitute imports.

In his address, the Chairman of Daily Trust Board of Economics, Prof. Ode Ojowu, said there is need to stop the dwindling value of the adding that the ban on 41 items from accessing forex is causing problems for the manufacturing sector.

He identified the agriculture and solid minerals sector as major sources of revenue for the government lamenting that currently, there are no policies to encourage the sector. He called on the government to stimulate the economy, adding that over 10million Nigerians are on the streets without any good source of livelihood.

In his remarks, the Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwaabo said globalisation has made trade a potent instrument stating that Nigeria needs to strengthen its trade to increase competitiveness in the international community. He said Nigeria must diversify its manufactured goods and place emphasis on human development.

He advised the federal government to increase funding in education and raise investment in healthcare to ensure the maximum health of all Nigerians needed for economic productivity.

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