Use Agric, Export to Revive Economy, Experts Urge Cardoso

Some experts have called on the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, and his team to focus on the agricultural sector and boosting exports in order to fight the twin problems of inflation and depreciating naira value.

The experts spoke with The PUNCH in exclusive chats following the assumption of office of Cardoso on Friday, pending the approval of his nomination by the National Assembly.

The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, set 10-point agenda for the new CBN governor.

The Director/Chief Executive Officer, CPPE, Dr Muda Yusuf, said it was important to restore confidence in the forex market.

“The economy is grappling with severe adverse effects of depreciating exchange rate, soaring energy costs, ravaging inflationary pressures, huge backlog of foreign exchange obligations that need to be cleared and debt service obligations that need to be redeemed,” he said.

The CBN, he added, should deepen the financial system, ensure efficiency of the financial system, and look into the capital requirements for banks

He said: “Ways and means finances of the CBN must be kept within statutory limits to avoid the damaging impacts of high-powered money on the macroeconomic environment. The experience of the last few years must not be allowed to repeat itself.”

The naira redesign policy should be suspended indefinitely, he noted.

Yusuf also said tenure and cost of funds in the banking system should be looked into.

He advised that steps should be taken to reduce concentration risks in the banking system as a strategy to manage systemic threats to the banking system.

Yusuf urged the new governor on stakeholder engagement, corporate governance

A financial analyst, Brain Essien of McBrain & Company, stated that the acting CBN governor needed to work hard to ensure the naira regained strength.

He said: “His credentials seed him more as a well-experienced administrator than an economist, which is what we need at the helm of the CBN right now. A Soludo type person, but with, shall we say, greater experience. However, I think the best he might be able to do, is stabilise the economy, and thus the naira, from slipping further, if he can though. The task before him is herculean, at least. I honestly do not envy his position right now. Firstly, we need to stop all this borrowing. It is not helping us at all. Our Debt Service to Revenue Ratio is something about 99 per cent.’’