Sen. Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, has advocated borrowing only to finance the productive sector.
Enang, however, expressed concern over the current value of naira against the dollar.
He spoke with our correspondent in Abuja ahead of the celebration of Nigeria’s 61st Independence on Oct. 1.
“Our debt profile should be targeting the productive sector and not debt repayment; we should also reduce how much we are borrowing.”
“When Nigeria was just 20 years old, the naira was stronger than the dollar but now at 61 years, dollar is higher than the naira.”
“At 61, naira is about N600 per a dollar, something should be done about it; we shouldn’t be pretending that all is well when things are not proper.”
He also advised that Nigerian leaders should speak less on things that would bring about disunity; rather they should speak more on things that unite the country.
“But let it be that each political party is seeking and taking a decision on the best way it can win election.”
“Let it not be as if it is ethnic or geopolitical contention against each other,” he advised.
On the economy, the presidential aide said that the best way the Nigerian economy could thrive was by ensuring that “we produce what we eat, consume what we produce as well as stop importation of what we eat.”
Enang said that Nigeria should be planting and exporting agricultural products considering the comparative advantage the country had in agriculture.
“Again we should not at this stage be using our currency to import petroleum products because this petrol can be refined locally.”
“We should as a country take measures that at 61 to will reflect where we are ought to be?”