• Business - Economy
  • Updated: November 15, 2020

Stanbic IBTC's Peterside Shade CBN's Emefiele Over Inflation Rate

The founder of Stanbic IBTC, Atedo Peterside, threw a jab at the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele. Peterside subtly tackled Emefiele over his handling of the inflation rate, which is no different from his predecessors.

Peterside said CBN governors are used to keeping the inflation rate at 10 percent but don't make effort to reduce the inflation rate more than that. He said the only CBN governor that has managed to take the inflation rate lower than 10 percent was Charles Soludo.

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Soludo was governor of the CBN between 2004 to 2009. Peterside made this known while making reference to a comment he made in a video seen by AllNews, during a conference with the private sector stakeholders, which consisted of Aliko Dangote and Jim Ovia.

During the conference, Peterside said, "The governor mentioned that we brought inflation from 18 percent down to 11 percent and so on... CBN governors in Nigeria are very good at bringing down inflation when it gets to a level that is politically unacceptable like 18 (and) 19.

"When it gets near 10 percent, they get tired. And the thing (inflation) now stays at 11 percent, 10 percent endlessly; There's no need for that. The same method that brought it down to 11 percent, can bring it (inflation) down to five percent.

"We see Brazil bring it down from this (high) figure down to five percent. We can do the same, so why ain't we doing it... Let me explain why it is doubling important that we bring inflation to something like five percent.

"When the governor (CBN) spoke about exchange range stability, he knows I'm in favour of that. When exchange rate was NGN360, and he was thinking of bringing it to NGN355, I screamed and told him to keep it at NGN360. Because I thought it will be a mistake to take it (exchange rate) to a journey we can't sustain.

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"At NGN360, I believe we could have stability, which we still have (at the time; 2019.) Let me explain what will threaten that stability, so we stop kidding ourselves. If you have an inflation rate that is 11 percent year-on-year, U.S. inflation rate is two percent, every year you don't adjust is a nine differential.

"The solution is not to devalue (naira), but to bring down the inflation rate - that is where the solution is."

Peterside also said he's against multiple exchange rates. He made this known while advising Emefiele ahead of his second term last year.

While commenting on the suggestion today, Peterside said, "An important point which is implied but not explicitly stated in this video (conference) from 8 June 2019 is that since Year 2000 only one CBN Governor has kept the inflation rate below 10% for 2 consecutive years during his tenure; Soludo in 2006-2007."

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Olalekan Fakoyejo
Olalekan Fakoyejo

Fakoyejo Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ)....

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