Maritime Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, speaks on the best economic solutions for Nigeria to get out of the present recession.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is trying to defend the dollar. But, it is not our currency. What the Central Bank should be doing is pushing the productive value of our economy. So, when you push the production value of our economy, it does not matter what the rates are.
“Why is the Central Bank regulating dollar in the first place? Why? I don’t see what business they have regulating foreign currency.
Government has no business being in business; whether it is school, hospital, banking. So, what we need to do is to say, anybody who has foreign currency, trade it in the market, and sell it on the daily price.
“So, the Diaspora people who are contributing about $20 billion will bring their money and sell it, because you have money transfer companies. If I have dollars in my account that clients have paid me, and I think I that I need to sell it, I will sell it. So, it encourages.
“When you do what we call ‘demand-side’ economy, meaning, you want to control demand. The correct approach is ‘supply-side’ economy, where you say ‘ supply the system. But the government is doing ‘demand-side’; let us regulate; ‘ you, yours is only 200 for you today; 41 items banned. Let the Central Bank absolutely deregulate the FOREX market, and let us see where the rates will go.
“After all, I think we all said price of petrol will increase, but it has found its level and even sliding down. Now, government wants to intervene again and spoil everything by taking it up. But, a liberal economy with strong social regulation is the way to go.”