Nigeria employers who are members of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and workers under the aegis of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have lamented the depreciating value of the nation’s currency, naira.
The groups, during the 64th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of NECA in Lagos, also decried the rising cost of food, rapid depletion of foreign reserves in despite increase in global oil prices and the high rate on unemployment in the country.
The President of NECA, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi, said if government could address the issue of insecurity, inflation and other economic indices will improve.
Adeniyi added, “The country’s external reserves fell to a 13-month low in June 2021, tumbling quickly to $33.8 billion, the level it was between 2015 and 2017.
‘’The reserves fell by $222.3 million between May 31 and June 10 to $34.0 billion, according to figures published by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
‘’The falling reserves could leave the country’s embattled economic outlook worse off as the confidence of foreign investors is partly influenced by the size of its reserve. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the figure oscillated between $34 billion and $36 billion and even crossed $36.5 billion occasionally.”
On his part, the President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the value of naira has depreciated by 150 percent since 2015.
“The current high inflation is bad for businesses and country’s development. It’s sad, Nigeria’s currency no longer has value.
‘’For instance, since 2015 till date, our currency has lost its value more than 150 per cent when you compare it with our neighbouring countries such as Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic. In 2015, one million CFA was equivalent to N250,000 but today, one million CFA is equivalent to N 1 million,” he said.
“So, this has greatly affected the cost of goods and services as well as the purchasing power of Nigerians. If you look at our demography, young people constitute a huge part of our population and that has largely been impacted by COVID-19 pandemic whereby a lot of people lost their job.”