From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a Nigerian knowledge institution, has condemned the increase in Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) to 14 per cent, saying that the government should curb insecurity first because it erodes foreign investors’ confidence and impacts heavily on food inflation.
To this extent, CSJ said that restoring security will generally improve national productivity beyond the agriculture sector.
It recommended mainstream policies to improve economic growth through a combination of reform and productivity-focused fiscal, monetary, labour and trade policies.
It also noted that the authorities should take urgent and targeted steps to increase crude oil production through the new NNPC and other investors. Embarrassing excuses and apologies for failure by Nigeria’s two oil ministers will not solve the low production challenge, the Lead Director, CSJ, Mr Eze Onyekpere, said.
Related: CBN hikes MPR rate to 14%
The Lead Director also said that the government should hold security agencies accountable for the reduction of industrial-scale oil theft. This will provide more resources to governments in the federation and as such reduce borrowing and indebtedness.
“The federal government should account for the expenditure on refurbishing and repair of the moribund refineries while allowing the new commercial NNPC to expeditiously privatise or concession the refineries. This will in the near future reduce our demand for foreign exchange for the importation of refined petroleum products.
“It should control waste and corruption in public expenditure management. Reducing the cost of governance is an irreducible minimum demand.
“Curtail wasteful election-related expenditure through the meticulous implementation of the 2022 Electoral Act. The journey to economic growth, reduction of poverty, unemployment and inflation begins with targeted steps taken with a full understanding of the intricate links between various policies of the government and the need for their harmonisation,” Onyekpere said.