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Nigeria’s economic woes poorly diagnosed –CBN



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Hopes that Nigeria’s economy may be receiving the right treatment for its multifaceted ills were Wednesday queried by a top Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official, Moses Tule, Director, Monetary Policy Department.

Speaking on a live programme anchored by Channels Television, Tule expressed deep concerns over what he termed ‘mis-diagnosis’ of the ills that have held down the nation’s economy. His comments came a day after the apex bank retained the benchmark interest rate at 14 percent, among other monetary policy guidelines announced by the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The fresh initiatives by CBN fell significantly short of the expectations of the Finance Ministry, led by Kemi Adeosun, and perhaps the President’s economic management, team which had openly canvassed for a lowering of interest rates.

Alluding to serious gaps in forging a unified response, Tule admitted that there had been no agreements reached between and among the Finance and Budget Ministries on the one hand, and the CBN on the other, on what was wrong with the economy.

He reiterated that the economy was a lot more sick than had been admitted, saying that at the core of the problem is stagflation, and not recession.

Hardly betraying any emotions, Tule called for a ‘comprehensive’ diagnosis of the economy if the country is sincere about seeking ‘unified’ strategic solutions to the myriad of problems.

He warned that there were no ‘quick fix’ to the economy given its very prostrate state.

Lately, there had been concerns expressed over the capability of the managers of the economy to turn the situation around, with many specifically calling for a cabinet reshuffle.

Meanwhile, observers see CBN’s current stoic stance on interest rates not only as a resistance to subtle political pressures but also an attempt to live up to its tag of being independent.

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