State Governments have been urged to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost agriculture by creating enabling environment as means of conserving Foreign Exchange.
Speaking on Tuesday in Sokoto at the CBN 23rd Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors, with the theme: Monetary Policy in a Period of Economic Uncertainty, a financial expert, Dr. Uche Uwaleke said in order to enhance domestic production, conserve foreign exchange, the CBN should identify specific import goods, which can be produced locally and provide incentives for small medium scale enterprises to begin and or increase the production of such goods.
While faulting the CNB forex policy on education abroad, he said that the apex bank had not taken strict measures to avoid manipulation of the process by some fraudulent people, who could possibly present fake letters of admission to access foreign exchange.
He urged that the CBN to collaborate with the Ministry of Education to obtain a credible list of recorganizing schools abroad in a bid to tighten the loopholes “so that we don’t return to square one.”
The CBN’s directive on how to access the forex for school fees include to provide admission letter and receipt from the school abroad, and that forex should be provided to only student studying specific courses aboard.
Dr. Uwaleke said the process could be abused, citing the experience in Venezuela.
“People could forge admission letters and school receipts to access forex,” he said.
Delivering the a lecture, ‘Enhancing Domestic Production As A Panacea For Growth And Foreign Exchange Conservation’, Uwaleke said the apex bank should provide foreign exchange in order to ease difficulties encountered by Nigerians in obtaining funds and that it should provide additional funding to banks to meet the needs of Nigerian for personal and business travel, medical need, and school fees.
He said in order to enhance domestic production, conserve foreign exchange and boost economic growth, that there was the need to pay more attention on agriculture, expand power infrastructure as well as boost local refinery.
On the link between domestic production, forex and growth, Uwaleke said, “Until you do something to the supply and demand, there will be no end to naira devaluation.
“Most studies indicate positive and significant relationship between domestic production and foreign reserve as well as between foreign reserve and economic growth.”