Stabilise Naira, End Corruption For Nigeria's Growth - Adeyemo

U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, speaking on Monday, recommended to the Nigerian government led by President Bola Tinubu that they prioritise Naira stabilisation and anti-corruption efforts to unlock Nigeria’s potential.

Adeyemo, who is presently in Lagos to bolster economic ties between the U.S. and Nigeria, applauded Tinubu for his commitment to undertaking difficult and ambitious reforms. He also laid out the necessary measures for the kind of growth that would create economic opportunities for the Nigerian populace.

‘Your economic success is not only important to the approximately 200 million people who call Nigeria home, it is important to the region, the continent and the global economy,’ Adeyemo said in a speech at Lagos Business School.

The visit by Adeyemo, who holds the highest position in the Biden administration among members of the African diaspora, comes after other prominent officials, like Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice President Kamala Harris, visited the continent.

‘First, Nigeria needs a stable naira. Unifying Nigeria’s foreign exchange rate will also create the kind of macroeconomic stability that is essential to attracting foreign investment,’ he said.

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‘We commend the difficult steps your government has already taken to accomplish this goal. The path to unification is not an easy one as everyone is experiencing, but going backwards would be even worse.’

‘Second, the government needs to articulate and implement a credible fiscal strategy that will provide the resources to make critical investments.’

‘I recognise the decision to end fuel subsidies is hard for many Nigerian households. But it was an important early step to create resources that the government can use to invest in physical and digital infrastructure, education, and a strong small business environment.’

‘There is nowhere this need is greater than the agricultural industry, which, despite the digital revolution going on in Nigeria, remains Nigeria’s top employer.’

‘Its full potential, of course, is held back by issues like access to fertilisers, limited use of new technology, access to water and land and the availability of credit and high market entry costs.’

Additionally, Adeyemo pressed for actions to reinforce the integrity of Nigeria’s banks and reduce the capacity of ‘criminals, terrorists, and others’ to exploit the Nigerian financial system for money laundering. He affirmed that Washington is poised to support Tinubu’s government in tackling these issues.

‘The opportunity has never been greater,’ he said. ‘Your government is pursuing difficult and bold reforms. The United States looks forward to being a partner as you build an economy that works for all Nigerians.’

Africa Today News, New York

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