LAGOS, APRIL 21, 2017 – Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday called for convergence in foreign exchange (forex) rates and interest rates’ reduction.
He also pushed for a deliberate strategy to force down inflation rate to single digit as a means of stabilising the economy and putting ailing businesses back on track.
Ambode, who spoke during the commissioning of an ultra-modern headquarters of Providus Bank in Lagos, said such measures would enable more investors to access funds and meet their obligations.
Expressing optimism that the economy was gradually making steady move out of recession, Ambode said proactive steps must now be taken to sustain the successes recorded so far.
Alluding to a recent report of World Economics revealing that the economy would soon move out of recession, he expressed delight at the fact that the consistent investment of the state government in critical sectors contributed to the resurgence of the economy.
“While we are delighted that our efforts have contributed to this resurgence of the economy, there is still more to be done. The next steps are to achieve a convergence in the forex rates, force down inflation to a single digit and reduce interest rates. These will enable more business people to access funds and meet their obligations,” he said.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently released by the Federal Government.
He said the economic blueprint would go a long way in charting the course for total economic recovery and growth desired by all.
He also commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for efforts at stabilising the exchange rates, and expressed optimism that the steps being adopted would help the ailing businesses to bounce back to profitability.
Ambode said his administration has maintained a consistent programme of actively reflating the economy through massive expenditure in infrastructural development and engaging competent local contractors who in turn employ the people.
He said between April last year and March this year, a total of N16.9billion was released as payment of pension arrears to pensioners in the state, while N2billion was disbursed to young entrepreneurs and artisans under the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF) scheme.