President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that his administration will make tough decisions in the 2016 fiscal year.
He, however, said that this did not necessarily mean increasing the level of pain already being experienced by most Nigerians.
Buhari said this yesterday while presenting the 2016 budget to the National Assembly.
He said “Indeed, tough decisions will have to be made. But this does not necessarily mean increasing the level of pain already being experienced by most Nigerians.”
He said he was aware of the problems many Nigerians currently had in accessing foreign exchange for their various purposes “…from our traders and business operators who rely on imported inputs; to manufacturers needing to import sophisticated equipment and spare parts; to our airlines operators who need foreign exchange to meet their international regulatory obligations; to the financial services sector and capital markets who are key actors in the global arena.”
He said these were clearly due to the current inadequacies in the supply of foreign exchange to Nigerians who needed it. He, however, said he had been assured by the Governor of Central Bank that “the bank is currently fine-tuning its foreign exchange management to introduce some flexibility and encourage additional in-flow of foreign currency to help ease the pressure.”
He explained that the government is assessing the exchange rate regime “keeping in mind our willingness to attract foreign investors but at the same time, managing and controlling inflation to level that will not harm the average Nigerians. Nigeria is open for business.”
He said: “The interest of all Nigerians must be protected. Indeed, tough decisions will have to be made. But this does not necessarily mean increasing the level of pain already being experienced by most Nigerians.
“So to the investors, business owners and industrialists, we are aware of your pains. To the farmers, traders and entrepreneurs, we also hear you. The status quo cannot continue. The rent seeking will stop. The artificial current demand will end. Our monetary, fiscal and social development policies are aligned.”
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