Home / Business and Economy / CBN’s policy to grow economy paying off – Emefiele; Says 2 more years of border closure’ll tackle all security challenges
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele

CBN’s policy to grow economy paying off – Emefiele; Says 2 more years of border closure’ll tackle all security challenges

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele

By Mustapha Sumaila

Abuja, Nov 1, 2019

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele has said that ensuring price stability and growing the nation’s economy through unconventional policy is paying off.

Emefiele stated this at the first Convocation Lecture of Edo State University, Iyamho, Auchi on Friday.

The governor said in spite of the criticism from certain quarters the bank would not be deterred by the activities of critics.

According to him, the monetary policy which was being condemned by the opposition has so far delivered a good result.

“When we began to utilise these tools, they were initially criticised by adherents of conventional monetary policy tools.

“Critics asserted that our Foreign Exchange policies constituted exchange restrictions, rationing of Forex discretionary allocation based on priority categories and a multiple currency practice.

“While there is sufficient evidence of significant reductions in our annual import bill, and increased non-oil exports, these critics assert that we are restricting trade and creating unfair competition.

“To our critics, conventional Monetary Policy requires that to encourage domestic production, we should impose higher tariffs and levies.

“However, our experience in Nigeria has shown that these tools have never worked, given the various attempts by certain economic agents to undermine the success of these policies,” he explained.

Emefiele said that regardless of the views of critics, the unconventional measures were well thought through and had been yielding significant gains for the nation’s economy.

He added that among the benefits noticed was the growth in Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

He said after the five consecutive quarters of negative growth, beginning in the first quarter of 2016, there was a coordinated approach by the fiscal and monetary authorities to support a rebound in the nation’s economy during the second quarter of 2017.

According to him, recovery has been driven largely by improved non-oil activities especially the agricultural sector.

He stated that agriculture was nonetheless reinforced by the pickup in the oil sector as oil prices rallied in 2017.

Emefiele added that the recovery had been sustained for nine consecutive quarters and it was expected to get stronger in the short-to-medium-term.

The CBN governor said as a result of the implementation of a tighter monetary policy regime, intervention programmes in the agricultural and industrial sectors, as well as improved Forex inflows had reduced inflation.

He noted that inflation began to decline from its peak of 18.7 per cent in January 2017 to 11.24 per cent as at September 2019.

Mr. Emefiele also said that if the Nigerian border closure is sustained for the next two years, the issue of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping will be totally eradicated.

He stated this while responding to questions after his lecture at Edo University, stressing that the border closure was capable of tackling all security challenges currently being experienced in the country.

He explained that if the youth who were in these vices were gainfully engaged in meaningful activities, insecurity would reduce to the barest minimum.

“I can tell you that if our borders remain closed for two years, the issue of ‘Boko Haram’, Kidnapping, Banditry and ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ will stop.

“CBN will promote this policy by making sure that we produce what we consume and eat what we produce,” he said.

He vowed that the apex bank would not allow the country to be used as a dumping ground for smuggling goods.

Emefiele however, decried the actions of some neighbouring countries which he said was not helping matters.

The governor explained that instead of some neighbouring countries to develop policies to grow their own economies they rather engaged in things that undermined the Nigerian economy.

He said when Nigeria as a country increased import duty on rice to discourage importation, those neighbouring countries reduced their own duties to get imported rice to be smuggled to the country.

“We no longer want what they are importing to our country because we can produce them and CBN will do everything possible to promote domestic products,” he said.

Emefiele challenged the youth and the old to go into agriculture because it was one of the major ways to grow the economy.

 

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