According to him, propping up the Naira with massive financial resources, devoid of substantial investments in the manufacturing sector to bolster exports, is not a prudent strategy.
Speaking at the 3rd Adeola Odutola lecture during the 51st Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Aganga stressed that for the Naira to regain stability and strength, Nigeria must pivot towards local production, with a strong emphasis on exporting goods.
The Naira's value has seen a significant decline, plunging from approximately 450 Naira to a single US dollar to an average of 760 Naira per dollar following exchange reforms initiated during President Bola Tinubu's tenure. This downward trend continued, reaching 1045 Naira per dollar on the parallel market, reflecting the currency's ongoing fragility.
Speaking on the state of the local currency, Aganga said, “What is the wisdom in spending billions defending the naira when it continues to fall instead of investing in genuine manufacturers and exporters of high-value products that would earn Nigeria foreign income and more.”
The former Minister charged the government to declare the industrial sector a national priority sector and back it with plans, policies, and money.
“Unlike the trillions spent on subsidies, bailouts, the Agric Anchor Borrowers Programme, the refineries, I can assure you that every naira, no matter how large, that is well spent on the strategic industrial sectors can be easily recovered and will deliver tremendous benefits to the economy and the nation,” he added.