Don’t de­value naira fur­ther – Trust econ­o­mists

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Hamisu Muham­mad & Si­mon Echewo­fun Sun­day

The Daily Trust Board of Econ­o­mists has called on the Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s gov­ern­ment to con­sti­tute im­me­di­ately a ro­bust eco­nomic team that will come up with a ro­bust agenda for the coun­try.

The econ­o­mists also urged the gov­ern­ment to be cau­tious in fur­ther de­val­u­a­tion of the lo­cal cur­rency - naira as it “is likely to do more dam­age to the Nige­rian econ­omy for now, chiefly be­cause it will be in­im­i­cal to the goal of eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion” es­pe­cially on rapidly in­dus­tri­al­iz­ing the econ­omy.

Ris­ing from its sixth meet­ing held in Abuja, re­cently the Board in its six-point res­o­lu­tions urged the gov­ern­ment to has­ten the for­ma­tion of its eco­nomic team and com­ing up with a ro­bust eco­nomic agenda. “Now that min­is­ters have been nom­i­nated and cleared by the Sen­ate, we be­lieve that this should be put in place in a short while,” it said.

In a state­ment signed by its Act­ing Chair­man, Prof. Ode Ojowu, the eight-man board com­mended the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari on the valiant ef­forts made to curb cor­rup­tion. It lauded the Trea­sury Sin­gle Ac­count pol­icy and other ini­tia­tives which it said will tackle fur­ther acts of cor­rup­tion.

While ex­press­ing con­fi­dence in the gov­ern­ment so far, the board noted that poverty re­duc­tion is sacro­sanct for the Nige­rian pop­u­lace, say­ing a dive at agri­cul­tural sec­tor rev­o­lu­tion “seems the low­est hang­ing fruit for gov­ern­ment to har­ness its goals.”

Other res­o­lu­tions made at the meet­ing are pro­vid­ing an in­ter­ven­tion fund around the 41 items fac­ing For­eign Ex­change re­stric­tions, for lo­cal en­trepreneurs to rapidly sub­sti­tute im­ports; and that gov­ern­ment should ex­plore av­enues within the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion, by which coun­tries that im­port from Nige­ria can come to as­sist us in set­ting up prod­uct stan­dard­iza­tion ap­pa­ra­tus.

Mem­bers of the board in at­ten­dance are Prof. Mike Kwanashie, Dr Muhammed Mut­taqa Us­man, Malam Sanusi Abubakar and Tope Fa­sua.

Oth­ers are Isiaq Aji­bola, Hus­saini Ab­dul­ra­haman, Man­nir Dan-Ali and Shuaibu Ab­dul­lahi.

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