The accepted wisdom in most countries is that central banks should raise interest rates to stop inflation running rampant. The logic is that raising lending rates increases the cost of borrowing and reduces the demand for money. In turn, this leads to a reduction in consumption and investment, thereby cooling the overheated economy.

Stephen Onyeiwu questions this approach when it comes to Nigeria. The country’s Central Bank recently raised short term interest rates to tame rising inflation. But, he argues, this isn’t likely to do the trick. This is because Nigeria’s rising prices are caused by supply constraints, including insecurity in food-producing areas of the country, poor infrastructure, and the war in Ukraine which has pushed up the price of commodities such as wheat. Also, the effectiveness of the central bank’s instrument (raising interest rates) will be blunted by the structure of Nigeria’s economy, including a large informal sector. This means there’s a weak link between the real economy and the banking sector, which is the conduit for central bank interest rate decisions.

Ask five people why protecting nature is important and you may well get five different answers. Conservation biologist Bradley Cardinale has heard many, and he has done a lot of research in support of one key argument: Wild species provide humanity with staggeringly valuable services, many of which aren’t reflected in the marketplace. He’s also become more open to other arguments as well – including religious directives to care for the Earth and the moral assertion that all life has an innate right to exist.

Jabulani Sikhakhane

Editor

Nigeria has just hiked interest rates: why it’s the wrong recipe for curbing inflation

Stephen Onyeiwu, Allegheny College

It is hard to fathom how Nigeria’s Central Bank interest rate increase would benefit most Nigerians.

Should we protect nature for its own sake? For its economic value? Because it makes us happy? Yes

Bradley J. Cardinale, Penn State

With the world losing species at an alarming rate, a conservation biologist explains how ideas about protecting biodiversity have evolved over the past 40 years.

The left could be poised to take power in Colombia for the first time

Juan Manuel Morales, Université de Montréal

The strong showing of left-wing presidential candidate Gustavo Petro in the Colombian elections suggests the country’s left-right divide is moving from armed confrontation to democratic disagreement.