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Moghalu Picks Holes In Implementation Of Tinubu’s Economic Reforms 

 

Former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu, has criticised the Federal Government’s handling of the economic reforms, even as he described the reforms as correct and necessary.

Moghalu spoke on Tuesday in a keynote address at the 2023 Leadership Annual Conference and Awards held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Abuja.

The former CBN deputy governor said removing the corruption-laden fuel subsidy and floating the naira were correct and long overdue, but the decisions should have been preceded or complemented immediately by other measures.

Before the removal of the fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu, the administration should have first embarked on some enlightenment programs on the rationale for it and the associated gains and also put in place compensatory succour for the people particularly in the transportation sector “because the moment you remove oil subsidy where it would hit next is the transport sector.”

Dr Moghalu said even though it was right to float the naira to address the foreign exchange issue, and the government floated the naira quite right, the authorities that were to implement and guide this were not in place until months later.

“The CBN Governor was not appointed until about 4 months later while the Monetary Policy Committee was not in place until last week.”

The former CBN governor lauded the raising of the interest rate to tighten the naira, saying what the country is dealing with is cost-push inflation and not demand-pull inflation and as such there was a need for a tightening of naira supply.

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“It was a decision late in coming but it’s better late than ever,” he said.

Moghalu also criticized the composition of the present Economic Advisory Council, which he erroneously took for the Economic Team, saying it should have been made of experts in agricultural economics, production economics, development economics,

fiscal economics, etc rather than businessmen and private sector players where conflict of interest could not be ruled out.

President Tinubu was awarded the Leadership Icon of the Year, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the last election, Mr Peter Obi, emerged as Leadership Politician of the Year while some governors were given awards of Persons of the Year by the newspaper.

The President was represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris.

Speaking at the event before delivering President Tinubu’s address, Idris said the President was aware of the challenges that would come with the two policies and was doing well in addressing them.

He said the gains of the two policies were already emerging, saying the country’s GDP is growing at 3.46%, capital importation has increased by 66% while the stock exchange has grossed 100,000 basis points.

The minister also corrected Dr Moghalu that what the President constituted recently was a tripartite committee comprising some ministers, the CBN and private sector people so they could pull efforts together in addressing the country’s economic problems and that the committee is not the President’s Economic Team.

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