Peterside’s views on economy were right but belated, says Economist

 Atedo N A Peterside

Atedo N A Peterside

Prof. Sherifdeen Tella, a Senior Economist at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun, says the views expressed by Mr Atedo Peterside mainly on CBN’s foreign exchange policy were right, but belated.

Tella told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Monday that if Peterside had made his suggestions a year ago, it would have impacted much on the economy.

NAN reports that Peterside, the Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Cadbury Nigeria took a swipe at the forex during the 14th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja.

The theme of the dialogue was: Beyond recession: Towards a resilient economy.

The Stanbic IBTC chairman said that currently, there were 11 major steps that the government needed to take to address the current economic woes.

The steps, according to him, include correcting the imbalance in the foreign exchange policy, making peace with the Niger Delta militants and sale of some national assets.

Others are the deregulation of the entire downstream petroleum sector, reduction of the bloated civil service, and making states economically viable.

He also suggested that the government should address the deficit in infrastructure, improve the nation’s legal system, respect for the rule of law by the government, restore business confidence and appoint directors to the boards of regulatory agencies.

According to Tella, some of the Peterside’s propositions would have been relevant on the short run if he had given the advice earlier.

“I think Peterside is right to some extent and the views may work in the long run,’’ Tella said.

The don agreed that the CBN was not getting some of its policies right, especially on the retention of bench mark interest rate.

Tella said that he shared the view of some financial experts on the reduction of interest rate to mitigate the hardship faced by some Small and Medium Entrepreneurs in accessing fund for business expansion.

“The CBN believes there is so much money in the economy that needs to be mopped up.

“It is not possible to mop up liquidity by increasing the interest right,” Tella argued.

The economist advised the CBN Monetary Policy Committee, which is meeting on Monday and Tuesday, to reduce interest rate, saying it is in the best interest of the economy.

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