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Redeeming the Naira’s Declining Value

Money, as a means of trade, is a critical component of human existence and a significant influence on the economic life of every individual or nation.

This explains why every government takes significant security steps to zealously monitor and painstakingly safeguard its currency, not just to prevent them from being counterfeited or abused, but also to ensure that they are as credible, valued, and acceptable as possible.

However, the country’s embarrassing constant slide in the value of its currency, the naira, in recent years has been extremely concerning and a source of considerable worry, all the more so when the situation is affecting the average Nigerian.

Nigeria’s cost of living has, to put it mildly, has gotten out of hand, as seen by the astronomical prices of goods and services.

Despite this, the purchasing power of the public, particularly workers, has remained stagnant, because civil servants’ salaries and wages can hardly ‘take them home”.

With all intents and purposes, the constant depreciation of the naira, whether advertent or inadvertent, appears to have translated into a devaluation of the average Nigerian’s standard of living.

In light of this deplorable state of hopelessness, poverty and poverty-related variables, low and irregular wages and pensions, acute unemployment and underemployment, the average health status of the population is not impressive.

The standard of living and life expectancy are embarrassingly low, while hunger and other adverse socioeconomic conditions have resulted in an unparalleled level of insecurity throughout the country.

Without fear of contradiction, the argument must be made here that the country’s severe economic dilemma, which has resulted in continuous external loans, is desperate for urgent attention from professionals in economic management.

Realistic diversification of the economy

To this extent, the Federal government should demonstrate a genuine commitment to finding a long-term solution to not only the currency’s declining value but also to the hard economic realities.

There is an urgent need for realistic diversification of the economy that transcends rhetoric, semantics, and political propaganda to harness the country’s economic indicators and potentials; to improve and strengthen its production and export capacity.

Additionally, efforts must be accelerated toward identifying non-oil sectors with the potential for economic revival and prosperity.

Nigeria becomes an import-dependent nation and a dumping ground for other nations as a result of export being concentrated only on crude oil, a major factor contributing to the naira’s unabated depreciation.

Clearly, the moment has come for the nation’s exports to compete with its imports. In other words, Nigeria must transition from a consuming to a producing nation, so liberating the country from its current import-dependent and borrowing condition.

This, if faithfully implemented by experts, would also result in the much-discussed diversification of the economy, strengthening the naira’s value, reviving citizens’ purchasing power, curbing current hyperinflation, and significantly reducing the escalating frustration-induced insecurity, as well as massive illegal and irregular migration of youths.

Writing by Dr Benjamin Nwokedi of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri; Editing by Saadatu Albashir