A professor of Banking and Finance, Olukayode Somoye, has called on the Federal Government to urgently change the nation’s currency as part of measures to effectively fight corruption and ensure a stable foreign exchange regime.
The don also advised the government to reduce the pump price of fuel until electricity supply in the country significantly improves in order to allow small scale industries survive. Somoye, who is the Acting Dean, Faculty of Administration and Management Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago- Iwoye, Ogun State, said he had previously conveyed this position to President Muhammadu Buhari on five occasions while while delivering the 82nd inaugural lecture of the university titled: “Multicratic finance, fiscal governance and sustainable development: Where does the money go
According to the lecturer, there is need for the government to embark on the process of changing the nation’s currency if it is serious about foreign exchange stability and putting an end to corruption problems.
The don, who declared that the proposed new currency will neutralize looted funds in the system that are being used to destabilize money supply and foreign exchange market, warned the government to desist from using foreign loans to fund its budget as he described obtaining loans to finance national development as ” a lazy idea.” Somoye recalled that Nigeria’s current financial and economic impasse commenced in 1985 during the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) period when the leadership of the country decided to swim with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionality which included currency devaluation.
“Having observed the dwindling fortunes of finance and development in Nigeria in the past and the unfortunate recession/ disequilibrium the country recently experienced, I have written five letters to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 2015 and 2018 conveying my views about the financial state of the nation with relevant policy prescriptions. “These letters were copies to the Vice President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and some ministers, including the Finance Minister.
“The letters covered many areas amongst which are monetary and fiscal policies, deposit money banks, interest rates, foreign exchange rate management, treasury single account, fuel pump price, new currency, domestic and external loans, employment generation, cost of governance, entrepreneurship financing, toll gate economy and aggressive tax reforms,” he said. Somoye, who noted that the government’s monetary and fiscal policies need reengineering, canvassed a vigorous policy towards employment generation as he bemoaned the poor state of banks in the country.