Akinwumi Adesina: To get out of recession, Nigeria must sort its FX policy – The Cable

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says for Nigeria to get out recession, it must sort out its foreign exchange policy and incentivise the private sector.

Adesina made this call at a press conference in Abuja, during the 11th African Economic Forum, which started on Monday, and is billed to run till Wednesday.

Speaking on how  to get Nigeria out of recession, Adesina said there were still problems in Nigeria’s forex market which must be sorted out.

“I think the government has taken some tough decisions, I think when the price of petroleum products subsidy was removed, it was a tough decision, but a good decision,” Adesina said.

“However, the naira was allowed to devalue, but there’s still a problem with regards the forex market, so there’s still a number of issues to be sorted out.

“(As) regards how to have macroeconomic, I mean the monetary policy and also the fiscal policy regime to be sorted out to be able to provide sufficient amount of access to foreign exchange for those that want to bring in equipment, machinery, raw materials and so on.”

Adesina, who pledged some $600 million from AfDB for Nigeria, said he believes that Nigeria needs to incentivise the private sector to get out of recession.

“I believe that as these policy instruments are well sorted out, Nigeria should be in a good position to significantly attract a significant amount of foreign investments.

“If a bird is flying, a bird always uses two wings to fly; the public side, the private sector side, is very very important for Nigeria to incentivise its way out of recession.

“Give a lot of incentives to private sector to attract a significant amount of foreign investments, especially in critical sectors; the mining sector, agriculture, and the manufacturing sector.”

Adesina initially pledged a billion dollars, in loans, for Nigeria, but said the board of the AfDB approved only $600 million.