Sunday, December 02, 2018 1.30PM /Ottobasi Abasiekong
and Bukola Akinyele, Proshare WebTV
Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele has reassured foreign investors that Nigeria is open for business, and their investments in the country will be protected.
Mr Emefiele said this as the guest speaker at the 53rd Annual Bankers Dinner hosted by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria.
He said the CBN and the Federal Government were open to Foreign Direct Investments that will unlock economic opportunities and Nigeria’s growth potentials.
The CBN Governor shared that the thrust of his monetary policy was supporting inclusive economic growth in Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme “Strengthening The Economic Recovery Process in Nigeria” Emefiele noted that considering the economic recession, that hit the nation between 2016 and 2017, it was clear that policies had to put in place to avoid a repeat of another economic downturn.
Reacting to the various analysis on the monetary policy regime by economists and analyst, Emefiele assured that CBN will work with accurate and reliable information in taking its decisions.
The CBN boss cautioned against hasty criticisms of the monetary policy decisions, stating that policies take time to bear the desired fruits
He told stakeholders at the event that CBN that the following trends impacted global economic activities;
According to him the CBN was conscious of the following developments;
Considering the challenges Nigeria faced and its quest for sustainable economic recovery from recession, containing inflation and addressing FX supply issues, Emefiele identified the following bold steps as measures taken by the CBN, to stabilize the economy;
“The impact of these three steps led to the increase of FX inflows into the economy, and a rise in the foreign exchange reserves($48bn May 2018, from $23bn in October 2016)” he said.
The CBN Governor said with improved availability of foreign exchange, the FX rate at I& E window has been stable, while the parallel market exchange rate premium has narrowed significantly.
The steps also addressed rising inflation in the country, which peaked at 18.7% in January, 2017 but witnessed an 18-month consecutive reduction to 11.1% in July, 2018.
The steps according to the Governor improved the Primary Market Index for manufacturing, with an increase of 57% in August, 2017 from 45% in 2016.
Mr Emefiele said the restriction of FX for 41 items, had achieved a boost in domestic production and enterprise development in the country.
Under his watch Emefiele shared that Development Finance remained a top priority of CBN, with interventions like the anchor-borrowers scheme, real sector support fund supporting activities in manufacturing and agro sectors driving job creation.
In the area of MSME support, the CBN Governor disclosed that about N100bn has been released so far for entrepreneurs.