The Central Bank of Nigeria is committed to supporting eligible firms with foreign exchange to import machineries and equipment also support firms that are geared towards producing goods for the export market.
L – R: Abubakar Sani Bello, Governor of Niger State; Bayo Olugbemi, President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN); Babajide Sanwoolu, Lagos State Governor; Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Herbert Wigwe, GMD, Access Bank; and Ademola Adebise, GMD, Wema Bank at the 56th Annual Bankers Dinner in Lagos on Friday.
Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on November26, 2021 said We must take deliberate steps to diversify the base of the Nigerian economy. As the true African Giant, we must fold our sleeves and do everything possible to stop the incidence of importing anything and everything, he added.
Emefiele stated this in his keynote address at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) annual dinner held in Lagos,
CBN Governor said CIBN annual dinner has provides a veritable platform and a significant opportunity for me to engage with all stakeholders especially, professionals, practitioners and experts in the banking and Finance community. This dinner is an occasion to highlight important developments in our economy and apprise you of the policy initiatives and focus of the Central Bank of Nigeria towards realizing the ultimate goals of Macroeconomic and financial Stability, he added.
“I intend to provide my views on developments in the Nigerian economy as well as an outlook for how we see things going forward.
“As will be expected from an incisive analysis of any major economy in the world today, let me begin with an initial background of the Nigerian economy before COVID-19.
“Prior to the start of the pandemic in 2019, our economy was making steady progress out of the difficulties from the global oil price vagaries of the previous years.
He noted that indeed, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for 2019 stood at 2.3 percent, on the back of a relatively strong fourth quarter GDP of 2.55 percent that year he added that this growth was accompanied by significant foreign capital inflows due to improved fundamentals of the economy.
Containing the Impact of COVID-19 on our Economy
“We must all remember that, while its economic damages have been enormous and will be highlighted soon, this pandemic is first and foremost a public health crisis, instigated by a virus that has infected 259.7 million people, and claimed the lives of 5.2 million people globally, including 2,974 of our fellow Nigerians and loved ones. He stated that in May 2020, it would have been unlikely to hold an event such as this, with the number of people we have at today’s event.
CBN governor noted that our ability to come together today is a reflection of the progress that has been made in containing the spread of the virus as well as in supporting improved economic activity over the past two years. In my remarks today, I intend to provide my perspective on the external and domestic impact of the pandemic and its attendant effects on the Nigerian economy. He said.
“I will also provide an outlook for the Nigerian economy, as well as the steps that the CBN is taking to support improved economic activity.”
He said following the impact of the various accommodative policy measures, our economy made a swift exit from the recession.
He stated that unlike the five quarters it took to exit the previous recession, the economy rebounded after just two quarters of contractions, underpinning the resilience of the economy amid greater policy support.
Emefiele noted that growth has returned to pre-covid levels due to the accommodative policy support provided by the monetary and fiscal authorities.
Although uncertainties remain around the mutating Delta virus, prospects of a broad-based economic recovery in Nigeria remain bright as efforts are made to improve access to vaccines for Nigerians, in addition to measures aimed at implementing safety protocols to curb the spread of the virus, he stressed.
“As a result of these growth enhancing policy measures, we project that GDP will grow at 3.0 percent for 2021 up from -1.8 percent in 2020.
“Inflation is expected to continue on its downward trajectory into 2022 as continued interventions along with the onset of the harvest season aid improved supply of food items, which would further help to decelerate inflationary pressures.
Emefiele therefore solicited for proactive steps on the part of stakeholders in the private sector in collaboration with the government in supporting the growth of sectors such as Manufacturing, ICT, and Infrastructure, will strengthen our ability to deal with the challenges of COVID-19, and stimulate further growth of our economy.