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By Peter Egwuatu
Stakeholders in both the Nigerian capital and money markets have called on the Federal Government to quickly act by using fiscal and monetary policies to reflate the economy and bring down interest rate.
Speaking at the triennial delegates’ conference of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN in Lagos, Mr. Arnold Ekpe, former Group Managing Director of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, told Vangaurd that “The Federal Government needs to act quickly to make the economy vibrant. Given the economic recession the country is into, Government needs to pump money into the economy and apply the mix of fiscal and monetary policies to reflate the economy and bing down interest rate. The prices of commodities are rising with low income and rising unemployment, hence the need to increase expenditure and provide the needed infrastructure that will spur growth.”
Continuing, he said “A recession has to be managed coherently. Nigeria is not the first to be in this kind of recession. We are having stagflation because prices of things are going up and not coming down. Even, Government can go ahead to print money to attract growth. We have to spend more on infrastructure to ensure that businesses strive and do not collapse any longer. The federal government should spend on infrastructure and other viable projects to bring down interest rate so that manufacturers can get cheaper fund to expand the level of output and increase employment.
He commended the National Coordinator of ISAN, Sir Sunny Nwosu for his activism in the Nigerian capital market which has impacted to make listed companies to imbibe good corporate governance.
According to him, “The bowing out of Nwosu is quite commendable after serving the association for many years and now giving the younger ones opportunity to stir the leadership of the association is leadership by example and should applauded.”
In his own part, Mr. Bismark Rewane, an economist and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited said “Federal Government should inject money into the system, since there is a fall in oil revenue. The government has to increase the deficit plan for 2016.
“The government must inject funds into the system and harmonise the fiscal and monetary policies. It can also sell some assets because when you are in this kind of situation, you have to sell some assets. It should look at the minimum wage of the citizenry and social intervention programme, as people’s earnings have fallen.”
Mr. Christian Ekeigwe, Chairman, Audit Committee Institute, ACI, said “Corruption in the country is caused by policies of governments. When there are faulty and inconsistent policies corruption thrives. However, there are corruptions all over the countries of the world. The biggest corruption was with Enron, yet America continues to wax stronger because the people continued to invest in their country. If the corrupt money is invested in this country, the situation would have been different.
So government should address the issue of money taken out of this country and encourage people to bring in the money they have abroad and invest in the country.” He further advised the shareholders to continue their struggle for audit committee to represent their interest, stressing that qualification as an Accountant to be an audit committee member should not be included in the proposed amendment of Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA.