Prophet T.B. Joshua had prophesied on December 31st, 2015, that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari would face ‘overwhelming pressure’ which he would ‘not be able to resist’ to devalue the naira, a statement that subsequent events have increasingly confirmed.
The president will do everything to reject revaluation of the naira – which is a good idea from a good leader,” TB Joshua stated in a live broadcast during a special New Year’s eve service.
“But there will be overwhelming pressure which he will not be able to resist. Nigerians, support and pray for your leader. The future is crying for help.”
Four days later, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief, Christine Lagarde, embarked on an official visit to the West African nation.
Underneath the polished financial rhetoric, high on the agenda was a clear push for Buhari to devalue the naira, heightened by the drastic reduction in oil prices worldwide, Nigeria’s major source of revenue.
Influential financial newspapers have reiterated this call with media such as Financial Times, Forbes and Bloomberg blunt in their appraisal that economic disaster was nigh in Nigeria lest drastic action be taken by the government over the currency.
In an article published on January 30th 2016 titled, ‘Hope The Naira Falls’ by The Economist, the magazine stated,
“President Muhammadu Buhari is repeating an economic error he made as dictator 30 years ago,” citing the President’s refusal to devalue the naira amidst growing pressure.
“Instead of letting the naira depreciate to reflect the country’s loss of purchasing power, Buhari’s government is trying to keep it aloft,” the magazine stated, reminding people of the detrimental consequences Nigerians faced when Buhari attempted the same policy during his last stint in power.
Among those calling for devaluation is former CBN Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, who said devaluation was necessary as CBN would not be able to sustain its current forex control policies on the long run.
With global economic worries rising due to the continuing reduction in oil prices, other oil-producing nations from Angola to Russia and Mexico have let their currencies weaken.
However, the central bank of Africa’s largest economy has determinedly pegged the naira at 197-199 per dollar since March to stem its slide, despite it selling for 306 per dollar on the black market.
The policy has led to a shortage of foreign-exchange and been widely criticized by investors and businesses, who blame the restrictions for exacerbating the country’s economic slump and discouraging potential investors.
However, President Buhari insisted on refusing to follow advice to devalue the naira.
He likened devaluation of the Naira to having it murdered and said those advocating for devaluation needed to convince him, adding he was not ready to inflict more hardship on the poor citizens of Nigeria.
But according to a report by Forbes titled, ‘Nigeria Faces ‘Bleak’ 2016 As Currency Devaluation Looms’, the issue is not ‘whether’ devaluation will happen but ‘when’.
However, TB Joshua said Nigerians should support President Buhari against Naira devaluation.