- We’re Committed to Exchange Rate Stability
The Director, Monetary Policy Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Moses Kpughur, has expressed confidence in the ability of the apex bank to achieve exchange rate stability, which is one of its core mandates.
Speaking at the 21st Annual Conference of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in Abuja, he expressed concern over volatility of the exchange rate and high inflation rate.
Kpughur stated this in a paper titled: Economic Management and Monetary Policy: An Assessment of the Policy Environment in Uncertain Times. He said the apex bank had been able to control inflation, pointing out that as long as there is increase in liquidity or volume of cash in circulation, too much money would chase fewer goods.
He also said that the apex bank was, in its quest for price stability, taking note of the interest rate, exchange rate and the prices of goods and services. He recalled that two years ago, the entire world was shocked with the drop in crude oil prices from as high as $108 per barrel to as low as under $40 per barrel.
Kpughur said that the shock affected Nigeria’s growth projections and those of other oil producing countries. “The drop in oil revenue effected government’s expenditure,’’ the CBN chief said. He blamed the situation on government’s over-dependence on a single commodity, which is crude oil.
The CBN chief also said that activities in states like non-payment of workers’ salaries had affected the monetary policy. He observed that expenditure kept on increasing because the nation’s population is also growing. “Until our income grows more than the population, we would keep on having economic problems. If you spend more money on capital projects, you are investing in the future, ’’ Kpughur said.
Head, Investigation Department, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Adedayo Kayode, highlighted the nature of corruption in the country.
He spoke on the theme: Control Framework Against Corruption. He said abuse of positions and privileges; low level of transparency and accountability; inflation of contracts; bribery/kickbacks are to blame for corruption.
Kayode lamented the act of misappropriation/diversion of funds, under and over invoicing, false declaration, advance fee fraud, assets swapping, and corruption in education sector and other deceptive schemes.
According to him, these are: control through enforcement; control through financial intelligence and control through asset declaration and verification; control through corruption risk assessment and control through occupational and professional regulatory bodies and control through education and public enlightenment.
For effective performance, he urged accountants to improve on capacity; increased human resources, increased funding, enhanced salary. Kayode also spoke on the critical challenges in fighting corruption such as poor funding, lack of political will among others.
A communique issued at the end of the conference said infrastructural development should be carried out. The participants said that to get the Nigerian economy out of the present predicament, government should ensure speedy recovery of the ailing economy, foster growth and sustainability.
The conference recommended that there should be a clear policy direction, coordinated communication, more engagement with stakeholders, restoration of investor confidence, legal reforms, ease of doing business and competitiveness.