Economic experts yesterday in Lagos insisted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) must float the naira to deliver the nation from the current economic quagmire, noting that the current policy of the apex bank on forex lack direction and does not boost confidence of investors.
The experts, who gathered at a breakfast meeting organised by the Nigerian-America Chamber of Commerce to discuss on, ‘Getting Nigeria out of recession: How the 2017 budget affects business outlook,’ said the apex bank created distortion in the economy through its multiple foreign exchange rates.
The noted that if the naira be floated, expectations are that the inflation would increase further, the country’s debt profile will rise, investors will be able to project adequately, poverty level will rise further, as the price of petrol and power supply, which is largely dependent on gas will rise.
The experts, including Chief Economist at PWC, Andrew Nevin, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Limited, Bismarck Rewane, Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Bukar Kyari, National President, Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce, Olabintan Famutimi said key changes were required, particularly on foreign exchange, misappropriation of fund as well as corruption otherwise the hope that the 2017 budget would have desired impact on the economy may remain elusive.
Kyari projected a situation where the naira would fall between the parallel market rate, standing at about N400 naira on the official rate rather than N305.
The experts lamented that the current market structure created so much fear and uncertainty and may continue to cripple the economy if urgent solution is not provided.
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They said the lack of sufficient involvement by the private sector in the constitution of the nation’s economic management team was adding to the current economic woes. In addressing the country’s rising poverty level, Famutimi said a serious national population policy is needed to monitor growth of population.