Expert seeks more govt support for real sector

 

An Economist, Mr Titus Okurounmu, on Friday urged the Federal Government to provide more support to boost the real sector, as an antidote in curbing inflation.

Okurounmu, a former Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said that the federal government should endeavour to ensure adequate electricity provision for the real sector to increase productivity.

The former director said that the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme could also be extended to all farmers.

“The widening of the schemes is imperative, because a sizable percentage of what drives inflation is tied to the food index.

“Allowing more people to benefit from the CBN programmes might lead to food sufficiency in the future,” he said.

Okurounmu said that boosting domestic capacity in agriculture was inevitable to curb the spike in inflation caused by border closure.

He also said that the banning of over 40 items from accessing foreign exchange would reduce the strain on the apex bank, and enable Nigerians become more innovative in producing.

“The CBN’s action on banning of items has paid off, because a good number of such items are being manufactured domestically.

“This has led to the emergence of new firms producing, industrialising the economy and building capacity in the process,” he said.

NAN reports that Nigeria’s inflation rate has risen to its highest in eight months, hitting 11.61 per cent, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The consumer price index, which measures inflation, indicates that there is an increase of 0.37 per cent between the rate in September and October.

On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.07 per cent in October 2019, or 0.03 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in September 2019.