By Fabian Ekeruche
Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, a financial expert on Thursday called for fiscal discipline and professionalism in the banking sector as a way to ensure recovery of the nation’s currency.
Gwadabe, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the effective implementation of the budget could change the fortune of the naira.
According to him, fiscal discipline in budget spending and the rescheduling of interest rate repayment can also stem the depreciation of the naira at the foreign exchange market.
The financial expert said that tightening the Nigeria’s monetary policy and reducing the benchmark interest rate would serve as a catalyst for reducing unemployment and economic growth.
The ABCON chief noted that Nigeria had one of the highest interest rates in Africa.
He added that the growth of small and medium businesses would remain a mirage if nothing was done to reduce the rates.
“ The nation’s N7 trillion budget and debt payment services are an albatross to naira sovereignty.
“The problem, however, can be overcome by fiscal discipline in budget spending, rescheduling of interest, loan repayment and tightening the monetary policy.
“Boosting employment, unifying the multiple exchange rates, diversification of the nation’s economy and enhancing professionalism in banking and other financial institutions are also panacea,’’ Gwadabe said.
NAN reports that the naira had remained stable in the last three weeks, exchanging at N365 to a dollar at the parallel market.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had remained resolute in boosting liquidity in all segments of the foreign exchange market.
With the signing of the 2017 budget, many Nigerians were hopeful that a disciplined implementation of the budget would lead the economy out of recession.
However, economic experts and pundits have opined that given the high rate of inflation in the economy, even a N15 trillion budget would do very little in the murky waters of the nation’s economy.