President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Mr Tola Faseru, has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to focus on finding the right “degree of tightness” in monetary policy to keep the economy stable and boost agro exports.
According to him, while the bank must implement prudent monetary policy, the government can also do better to improve the nation’s balance of payment position through the promotion of agriculture commodities.
While noting that the economy has been exposed to risks stemming from the external environment, fiscal pressures and weaknesses in the sector, Faseru advocated for the implementation of prudent macroeconomic policies with low fiscal deficits and a flexible exchange rate sheltered from external vulnerabilities.
For the incoming government to start on a good footing, Faseru said soundness and transparency of the financial sector must remain the main domestic policy challenge, and every efforts must be channeled towards addressing credit quality, liquidity and capital adequacy concerns that would keep financial risks elevated.
While pushing for strong structural reforms across all sectors, the NCAN chief said revamping the agro sector is essential not only to improve trade competitiveness, but to encourage more Nigerians to explore new opportunities as the food sector gets more integrated into the global economy.
Faseru stressed the need to sustain the momentum in agriculture exports in coming few years by revitalising the Export Expansion Grant(EEG), reducing transaction costs time, better port gate management and introducing fiscal incentives that will contribute towards the transformation of the economy.
In this direction, he called on the CBN to relax its position on repatriation of export proceeds, reduce interest rate and reform the foreign exchange market.