Presidency Fires Back At Atiku: ‘We Expect You To Praise Tinubu For Not Interfering With CBN’s Business’

The presidency has responded to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s criticism of the foreign exchange policy of the Bola Tinubu administration, accusing him of misrepresenting the facts and failing to offer a better alternative.

In a scathing criticism on Sunday, Atiku accused Tinubu of lacking concrete solutions to address the falling naira and offered policy advice to curb currency fluctuations.

He slammed last Thursday’s meeting between Tinubu and state governors, alleging the president failed to outline steps to strengthen the naira and reduce poverty.

The former vice president stated that Tinubu “demonstrated a poverty of ideas” and has not presented tangible policies to contain the economic crises facing the country.

Hitting back late Sunday, the presidency through Tinubu’s spokesman Bayo Onanuga rejected Atiku’s criticism as inaccurate and misleading.

Onanuga insisted the meeting focused on food supply, not foreign exchange as claimed by Atiku.

He accused the former VP of getting his facts muddled up in an attempt to undermine the administration’s FX management.

The presidency further faulted Atiku’s policy alternatives, saying CBN’s monetary policies are already yielding positive outcomes like increased capital inflows.

Onanuga expressed confidence in the apex bank’s autonomy to execute FX policies without interference.

His reaction reads partly, “There was no deliberation as former VP Atiku claimed on currency fluctuation. As Alhaji Atiku should know, this is the business of the Central Bank, which has the autonomy to handle the country’s monetary policies. As a matter of fact, the President enjoined the governors, in passing, to allow the CBN do its work and refrain from dabbling into what is within CBN’s purview.

“If he (Atiku) would be true to himself and what actually transpired at the meeting, unlike the lies he spewed, we expected Alhaji Atiku to praise President Tinubu for maintaining this stance and for not interfering with the business of Central Bank.

“It is false and preposterous for Atiku to claim that CBN’s FX management policy was hurriedly put together without proper plans and consultations with stakeholders and that the apex bank is hamstrung by Tinubu’s government in implementing a sound FX Management Policy “that would have dealt with such issues as increasing liquidity, curtailing/regulating demand, dealing with FX backlogs and rate convergence”.

“Contrary to former VP Atiku’s claim, Cardoso’s CBN is implementing a raft of policies to stabilise the Naira and end volatility in the market and this is already yielding some positive results.

“Capital importation into the country is increasing, according to the latest NBS report. In the fourth quarter of 2023, Nigeria recorded a 66.27 percent increase in capital inflow, compared with Q3, before Cardoso’s arrival at CBN. In Q3, capital inflow was $654.65 million. It rose to $1.09 billion in Q4.

“Alhaji Atiku will agree that the rise in capital inflow suggests massive investors’ confidence in Nigeria and the policy direction of the Tinubu administration.

“Juxtaposed with the policy options being implemented by the CBN, Atiku’s alternative of a controlled floatation of the Naira is similar to the policy of Godwin Emefiele, when an estimated $1.5 billion was spent monthly to shore up the Naira, while arbitrage or round tripping went on unhindered. Sadly, it was perpetrated by people close to the corridors of powers.”

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