Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to either bring down interest rate or one day, he and other Governors will do it for the apex bank.
Speaking at the State Governors’ panel at the just concluded Nigeria Economist summit in Lagos, the Governor said the biggest problem destroying the Nigerian economy is the level of interest rate.
His words: “With the level of interest rate, no one can borrow at 20 percent and have real business. We must make policy decisions that will make interest rate to near zero. The CBN should either bring down interest rate or one day we will do it for you.”
However, the Governor did not support devaluation of the Naira.
He said he has seen three rounds of devaluation and and that he used to be in support all because of what he was thought in school.
But today, he no longer support devaluation as an economic policy for the country.
“I am against devaluation now. I have not seen the benefit to the economy. We export nothing and import all. We have foreign exchange scarcity but devaluation is not the only solution.
“It has not worked. I have seen inflation imported, but no benefit of devaluation to Nigeria. The only benefit is the removal of corruption in the system,” he stated.
According to him, States and Federal Government intend to have retreat to look at options other than devaluation. He explained that during the retreat, participants will look at other options that will keep economy going, stressing that Government cannot continue to subsidize for the elites.
On Kaduna state, the Governor disclosed that the state is largely an agriculture-based state.
The only challenge according to him, is that farmers are too old. To this end, he said his government is focusing on grooming the young. His government also, wants to ease access to land, issue titles to every square meter of land, so that in the middle of next year, all farmers will have titles to land.
On women empowerment, he said another thing Kaduna state is doing is that “we are investing a lot in extension, advancing women for agriculture. I believe more in women than men. Our head of service is a woman and our attorney general is woman,” he disclosed.
He said free education is working in Kaduna and that the state is giving three square meal a day.
“We have deliberate policy to engage women. We are launching tree planting over the four years and we are engaging the women,” El-Rufai stated.
The Governor also said there was need to amend the constitution to give greater freedom for mining, adding that the constitution needs to be amended to have a true federalism.
According to him, Governments are coming together to form commodities board for easy access to market.
On corruption, it is big issue, in Kaduna it is not a short term issue but a long term. We need technology to pluck leakages. We got rid of earring staff.