President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that those accused of stealing public funds are co-operating by voluntarily providing useful information while investigations and prosecutions are ongoing.
This is just as he reaffirmed his opposition to proponents of naira devaluation, saying Nigeria cannot compete with developed nations with a devalued currency.
President Buhari spoke at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Saturday while contributing to a presidential round table panel on Investment and Growth Opportunities at the opening session of the Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World.
According to him, there was no basis for Nigeria to devalue her currency as the country was neither competing nor exporting, but importing everything including toothpicks.
“Developed countries are competing among themselves and when they devalue they compete better and manufacture and export more. But we are not competing and exporting but importing everything including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?” he asked.
Buhari also told the forum that those who had developed taste for foreign luxury goods should continue to pay for them rather than pressure his administration to devalue the naira.
The president said the priority of his administration was to ensure national food security before export of food products.
“We want to be more productive and self-sufficient in food and other basic things such as clothing. For our government, we like to encourage local production and efficiency”, he stated.
According to him, Nigeria, being a mono-economy dependent on oil, and with a teeming unemployed youth population, the way-out of the current slump in the global oil market is for his government to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development.
“The land is there and we need machinery inputs, fertilizer and insecticides”, the president said.
President Buhari expressed optimism that Nigeria would get out of its current economic downturn.
He also told the forum that another major factor militating against economic revival was the huge resources deployed towards fighting insurgency and international terrorism.
He thanked the international community for its support for his administration’s fight against terrorism as well as cooperation in tracing looted funds stashed away in foreign countries.
While responding to a question on his performance in office so far, President Buhari said his administration had been quite focused on three fundamental issues of securing the country, reviving the economy and stamping out corruption.
“The message on corruption has been driven home vividly and Nigerians are very acceptable to the message”, he said.