The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has advised the Federal Government to clamp down on citizens who are hoarding dollars, amid the freefall in naira exchange value.
The monarch also called on Nigerians to patronise locally-made fabrics (adire) instead of foreign ones in other to strengthen the naira.
Oba Ogunwusi spoke at his palace on Saturday during the graduation of 150 women tricycle riders trained under Queen Moremi Ajasoro Tricycle Riders programme, held side-by-side with the adire exhibition by South-West adire makers.
The women trained in tricycle riding were drawn from the four local government areas in Ifeland, and underwent three weeks of training.
The Ooni, who said Nigerians must work on their cravings for imported goods to save the naira, also called on the government to go after those hoarding dollars.
He said, “The exhibition of our local fabrics; we are very happy about it. We implore the government to be involved in this kind of initiative from time to time. If we patronise our own products in this country, there won’t be pressure on the dollar.
“Honestly, we are the problem of ourselves in this country. Why do we need dollars? We don’t need dollars. Our legal tender is naira. We buy things with naira, so why the pressure on the dollar?
“I implore the government to be very strict. They should go after people keeping dollars, even in their local banks. It doesn’t make any sense because that is not the legal tender of our nation.
“Government should promote initiatives like this (adire). These are home-made goods, 100 per cent made with naira. Our leaders should do more. They should wear Nigeria, they should talk Nigeria, they should reason Nigeria.”
Speaking on the Queen Riders Initiative, a wife of the monarch, Queen Ronke Ogunwusi, said the women had completed their training, adding that the participants would be assisted to own a tricycle and pay back in instalments.
She said, “We have done our research and we are aware that after making their hire purchase payment, on daily a basis, they can still take home up to N7,000.
“If we are to quantify it, the empowerment will run into millions of naira, but we offered the training for free with the help of TVS Simba Group in collaboration with the Ooni of Ife’s Queen Moremi Ajasoro Initiative, which is at the forefront of promoting everything that has to do with women empowerment.”