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Scrap Foreign Reserves, NCPC Boss Tells FG, Others

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The executive secretary of the National Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCPC, Tor Ujah has urged the federal government as well as other African nations to stop keeping their money in foreign reserves in the United States of America or Europe describing it as exploitative.

Foreign exchange reserves (also called forex reserves or FX reserves) is money or other assets held by a central bank or other monetary authority so that it can pay its liabilities if needed.

Speaking with LEADERSHIP in Jerusalem, Israel, after a prayer convocation by pilgrims during the ongoing 2019 Easter Pilgrimage in the Holy Land, Ujah said Nigeria and other African nations should form a network and ensure that any foreign reserves by the nations should be kept in the continent of Africa.

He said: ‘‘I believe it is wrong for poor nations like Nigeria and others in Africa to engage in foreign reserve. We are only keeping our money for those nations to use in developing their countries. I know the argument is that countries keep money in foreign reserves so that it will be useful when they are importing, but what are we importing? Pencils and toothpicks? If we stop importing, we will be forced to produce those things in the country.

‘‘I am against it; it is wrong; exploitative and backward. Why must Nigerians be storing money in Europe and America for them to be developing their countries?’’

He also decried a situation where some Nigerians abscond when they travel to Israel under the guise of embarking on pilgrimage. He said the commission is presently redeveloping and retooling its screening process from Nigeria to try and make sure that only those who are coming to Israel for pilgrimage come.

‘‘The government of Israel and Nigerian government have commended us for a job well done in reducing the number of Nigerians who abscond during pilgrimage. We have 5 Nigerians that abscond on this pilgrimage but our target is to reduce it to zero. We want every Nigerian to come to Israel and go back to the country,’’ he said.

 

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