The Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Services Limited, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, on Tuesday staked his N500 billion assets on his proposal to the Federal Government to stem the free fall of the Naira against the Dollar.
Ubah said if given the opportunity by the government, he would halt the slide of the national currency and bring it back to N200 to the dollar within one month.
The billionaire businessman, who addressed journalists in Abuja, backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision against devaluing the Naira, noting that such move would not augur well for the economy.
He stated that it was wrong to blame the fall of the Naira on low price of crude oil in the international market, insisting that other major oil exporting countries were not facing similar challenge with their national currency.
Ubah said if he failed to fulfil his pledge, government was free to take over his assets. He therefore called on the government to make him its chief consultant on financial stability, stressing that he would work with any government agency or groups including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to achieve his target.
Indeed, Ubah’s magic seems to have started working already. The Naira had been trading at N385 to the dollar at the black market in the last few days. However, within 48 hours of Ubah’s challenge to bring the dollar down to N200 within one month, if mandated by the Federal Government, the Dollar dipped significantly yesterday, trading at N305 in some bureau de change outfits within the Federal Capital Territory.
“This shows that the scarcity was artificial. The masses, especially traders, are suffering. Some traders are almost packing up their things to go home, because of the high cost of foreign exchange which is crippling their businesses. Those manipulating and benefitting from the foreign exchange racket should be fished out and punished,” Chief Ubah said.
He explained that having built the Capital Oil and Gas Services Limited to a position where it now accounts for 34 percent of Nigeria’s daily consumption of petroleum products, through his ingenuity, and without any form of waiver, grant or concession from the government, he was ready to assist the country to stabilize the economy by growing the value of the Naira.
According to him, “I want to reiterate my earlier my proposition to the Federal Government about my capacity to bring down the value of the Naira. It is not about who is Ifeanyi Ubah, what can he offer, it is about creative thinking.
“Nine years ago I created a structure at 36 years in the downstream of the nation’s oil sector that contributes close to 35 percent of the nation’s oil use. That record has not been broken and one thing the nation lacks is competitive governance as they all rely on Abuja to share money at the end of every month.
“There is no more creative thinking, nobody is thinking out of the box. Governors rely on the centre for their sustenance but they must have to develop on their as the centre cannot sustain their needs.
“I have four cardinal points that will help in stabilizing the Naira and I am one of the very few people that helped Nigeria and saved the nation on several occasions”.
Ubah stressed that since he appeared on Channels TV to make the proposal last Sunday, the Naira has appreciated tremendously, a clear indication “that this freefall of the Naira is artificial and could be better managed with honesty and ingenuity”.
“I am saying that I pledge every asset of mine into my proposal, if I fail to bring a dollar to N200 within 30 days, the federal government should seize everything I have. I thank Mr. President for not heeding the advice to devalue the Naira. I thank him and he should remain firm because nothing has changed.
“Yes, we have issues with dwindling prize of oil but that is not even it. Other states have it, Dubai have it, and have their money gone beyond 3.65 to the dollar that it has been in the last 20 years? Is there any other magic they are using? Is their foreign reserve depleting?
“No, let us be frank, it is all about re-engineering the economic sector of Nigeria, management of Nigerian industries and at the same time, supporting those who really need support, who can contribute towards economic growth of Nigeria than supporting monopoly”, he added.