Cardoso: Inflation, debt management, forex top manufacturers’ demands

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Taming the country’s rising inflation, addressing the issue of forex scarcity and tackling Nigeria’s rising debt are some of the key issues manufacturers have asked the newly nominated central bank governor to speedily address in order to ease the challenges which currently bedevil the real sector of the economy.

While speaking exclusively with The PUNCH, the Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Segun Ajayi-Kadir described the period between the exit of Governor Emefiele and the appointment of Governor Cardoso as a period of uncertainty and anxiety.

Ajayi-Kadir said that the association is expectant that the change would create an atmosphere that is conducive for the promised reform in the financial sector of the economy.

He said, “There is also the issue of current unimpressive forex reserves; high inflation rate; low possibility of raising market rates to more attractive levels; high debt profile and increasing debt servicing costs and public aversion to more borrowing.

“Better attempts should be made to ensure a strategic balance between tackling inflation and engendering economic growth through effective funding. So, promoting long-term macroeconomic management under this scenario is a task that has the CBN Governor located right in the middle.”

Speaking further, Ajayi-Kadir said there is a need for the country’s fiscal policies and monetary policies to be in sync. He added that manufacturers expect that the new Governor will actively support this policy handshake as this was lacking in the last administration.

On the matters arising from the recent floating of the exchange rate, he noted that manufacturers require forex to import their raw materials, machines and spare that are not locally available, and therefore look forward to a more supportive dispensation.

He added, “One thing that is also important is for the CBN Governor to pay close attention to the dynamics of our economic environment and engage critical stakeholders ahead of monetary policy incubation as well as evaluation and monitoring.

“I recall that we severally sought to meet with the former CBN Governor to express our concerns over the BDCs management of the forex disbursements but we never got a chance, neither did we get any responses to the fact-based submissions we made on manufacturers’ forex application and receipts.”

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