A development economist, Basil Odilim, has called for a redesigning of the Central Bank of Nigeria to give room for a low-interest rate.
He made this call during a world press conference earlier in the week.
At the conference, he stressed the need for the CBN to be pro-people and pro-economy, especially in supporting small businesses.
He said, “The issue now is that we have to redesign the Central Bank of Nigeria. We have to make the Central Bank of Nigeria pro-people and pro-economy, a system that is expansionary, meaning that we make interest rate very low and flood the economy with naira so that small businesses can borrow naira at a very very affordable rate. That way, they can go into their businesses and create jobs, grow the economy and pay taxes.”
He also advised that the CBN should make interest rates very low and flood the economy with naira for smooth economic activities.
“Any economy that is migrating from agricultural activity to industrial must flood the system with cheap money without minding the inflationary rate implications. Because it is when you make money available to those who need the money, invest the money, that the money becomes an investment.
“Therefore, we must re-engineer our interest rate policy to accommodate small businesses without putting banks out of business,” Odilim said.
He further said the next President must call a meeting of economists to advise him on how to lower interest rates without jeopardising the entire economy.
Odilim also stressed the need for the CBN governor to be answerable to the National Assembly before any policy was introduced.
He said, “Another thing is to make sure that the Central Bank governor must submits himself to the National Assembly. We must come up with a law that will not allow the Central Bank governor to act independently without going to the National Assembly to seek their support or position on any policy.”
He further cautioned against direct lending to individuals and companies by the CBN, adding that the CBN should desist from digital currency, allowing the commercial banks to be in charge.