by BUKOLA IDOWU,
Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo has charged the federal government and the apex bank to accelerate the momentum of recovery that can make a dent on poverty and unemployment.
Soludo who gave the keynote address at the Renissance Capital Investors Conference in Lagos, yesterday, said, “Forex and monetary policy must change fundamentally.
‘‘Hot emotions, infantile nationalism or neo-socialist command and control patchworks will not take the country out of its present challenges,’’ he said.
He said there is no credible substitute to sound market economy framework for an economy such as Nigeria.
He also charged the government to work towards restoring the credibility and ensure that the apex banking sector regulator gets the desired independence. He also stressed the need to eliminate multiple forex rates in the country to ensure transparency in the system.
According to him, the Nigerian economy is paying a heavy price under the current multiple exchange rate regime. “Forex management in a market with dominant supplier requires more than casual knowledge of the macro economy. Market determined rate requires technical skills and government macro objective will be critical in driving such a market rate” he stated.
He further noted that “to think of a life for our country beyond oil, we need a clear strategy. For an economy like Nigeria’s, which is in need of refuelling, we cannot solely address import substitution; we must instead develop export-oriented industrialization.”
On his part, chairman of the Board of Directors, Renaissance Capital, Christophe Charlier, said “There is still a lot of work to be done, but genuine shifts do not happen overnight. We can see changes have started to take place and can say with confidence that the underlying attractive attributes of the Nigerian and wider African market remain intact.”
Also, Chief Executive Officer, Renaissance Capital Nigeria, Temi Popoola, stated that “many are questioning the veracity of the ‘Africa Rising’ story, but we are seeing encouraging developments in Nigeria’s economic situation. He added that “In order to deepen Nigeria’s capital market, we need to answer questions about the participation of local investors in the investor’s FX window, and in this regard, investor education and the provision of credit are most important.”
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