Lawmakers Seek Body to Strengthen Monetary, Fiscal Policies Coordination

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Obinna Chima

The House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency has revealed that it is currently working on a legislation that would strengthen the coordination of fiscal and monetary policies in the country.

To this end, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Jones Onyereri said the lawmakers are currently pushing for an executive bill to set up the Financial Service Commission.

Onyereri revealed this in an interview with journalists on the sidelines on the International Monetary Fund/World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC.

“We are pushing for an executive bill to set up the financial service commission, where the fiscal and monetary authorities will converge. If we keep waiting for them and they don’t do it, the next alternative will be to have a private member bill.”

“This is because they (monetary and fiscal policy) must have a way of converging so that we can deal with real economic issues and move the economic forward,” the lawmaker added.

When asked if the move would not hurt the autonomy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Onyereri said: “No, it wouldn’t. It would only help them achieve their core mandate, because let’s face the reality. The ultimate goal is for the economic to grow, and I think that the internment of trying to create the independence of the central bank.” He stressed that the CBN remains an independent institution.

Desirous of ensuring monetary and fiscal collaboration in order to turn the economy around, managers of the economy from the CBN, the Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Industry, Trade and Investment last month held a meeting with the view of  harmonising their policy perspectives.

Meanwhile, Leaders of the top multilateral development banks (MDBs) have agreed to deepen their collaboration to encourage private sector investment in vital infrastructure needed to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth throughout the world.

Under the theme of “Delivering Inclusive, Sustainable Infrastructure,” the Global Infrastructure Forum 2017 provided a venue to discuss how MDBs can best work with countries and the private sector to create markets for infrastructure projects. The forum brought together potential investors, representatives of the United Nations and the G20 with the heads of the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Inter-American Investment Corporation, International Finance Corporation, Islamic Development Bank, New Development Bank and the World Bank.

“Basic infrastructure services – like roads, water and sewage lines, and electrical power – are scarce in many developing countries.  Over one billion people live without electricity; more than 660 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water, and one in three people lack access to flushing toilets and sewerage infrastructure. In addition, countries face the urgent need to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and renewable, efficient energy sources.

“With trillions of dollars in capital sitting on the sidelines earning low or even negative returns, deeper engagement with the private sector can create win-win scenarios where investors earn better returns on long-term investments and developing countries get much needed investment and expertise.

In order to fulfill commitments that countries throughout the world made to meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, the MDBs pledged not only to leverage their resources by joining forces to co-finance projects, but also to help generate interest among private sector investors in Public-Private Partnerships and the development of infrastructure as an asset class for institutional investors,” the group added in a statement.