Member representing Epe Federal Constituency of Lagos at the House of Representatives, Tasir Olawale Raji, has raised alarm over what he described as official devaluation of the naira on basis of the exchange rate proposed in the 2022 budget.
Raji, who raised the alarm while contributing to debate on the general principles of the budget on Thursday, said the 2022 appropriation bill based on an exchange rate of N410.15 per US Dollar was a “clear official devaluation of the Naira.”
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He said the development was bound to further impoverish Nigerians as it would lead to inflation.
“Nigeria is an import dependent economy and devaluation of our currency over the years has not benefitted our people in any way. It has led to high rate of inflation, drastic reduction in the purchasing power of the citizens, increased cost of doing business, corruption and brain drain particularly among our highly skilled professionals”, he said.
He said rather than the continued devaluation of Nigeria’s currency, efforts should be geared towards strengthening of the Naira.
Raji also raised concerns over the freedom presently enjoyed by the NNPC to determine cost of importing petrol and deducting same from the country’s oil revenue account, adding that such should be scrutinised to avoid revenue leakages.
The lawmaker, while commending the Federal Government for the giant stride recorded in infrastructural development particularly in rail transportation sector, however, urged the president priortise Calabar-Lagos coastal line to ensure timely completion.
He also urged the House Committee on Power to work with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure speedy completion of the Omptosho-Epe-Ahah power project which commenced in 2012 and has remained uncompleted nine years after the award of the contract.