Despite approving the floating of the naira, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said he does not see any benefit the country can gain from the policy, the Punch is reporting.
For months, president Buhari resisted calls to devalue the naira until he finally yielded to the demands of economists last month.
He told members of the business community during the breaking of the Ramadan fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that he was not comfortable with the reports he was getting from the Central Bank of Nigeria for the devaluation of the currency.
He said the rate of the naira to the dollar had increased astronomically between August 1985 and now.
The President said, “What do we derive from that? How much benefit can we derive from this ruthless devaluation of the naira? I am not an economist, neither a businessman. I fail to appreciate what is the economic explanation.
“What has happened to us now is that we have manoeuvred ourselves into a mono-economy, which led to the collapse we are seeing now.
“A lot of responsibilities now fall on your (business community’s) shoulders now. You have a lot of investments, a lot of people you employ.”
Meanwhile, Buhari also said 13 states have been identified as capable of producing rice that could feed the nation in 18 months.
Speaking on behalf of business leaders, the Chairman of Unilever Plc, Chief Kola Jamodu, promised their support for the present administration in its efforts to revamp the economy.
Jamodu said the support was necessary because the private sector could not thrive if the economy was in disarray.
He praised government’s move to diversify the economy, adding, “We are with you as you strive to reposition the Nigerian economy. We are very much in support of your move to diversify the economy.
“I have the mandate of the group to tell you that we will give you all the support, because if the economy is in disarray, the private sector cannot survive.”
Others, who attended the event, included Chief Femi Otedola, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Mr. Wale Tinubu and Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija.