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Emefiele proffers solution to economic recession, says Nigeria’s situation requires hard choices

By News Express on 03/09/2016

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has again stressed the need for all Nigerians to face the reality of the fact that these are not normal times across the globe and therefore hard choices are required to turn around the situation.

Emefiele, however, raised hopes, vowing to deploy appropriate monetary policy tools “to attain and inclusive growth by bolstering productive capacity and ensuring that Nigerian economy is indeed self-sufficient.”
The financial expert while delivering a lecture on Friday to participants of the Senior Executive Course 38 at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, near Jos, stated that “developments over the last two years show that these are not normal times by any stretch of imagination.” He noted that “the CBN has always tried to act in good faith, with the best available information and in cognizance of current economic conditions, to pursue the goals of price and financial system stability, as well as cataliyse job creation and inclusive growth in the country.”
The Apex Bank Governor in the lecture entitled, ‘Managing monetary policy in turbulent times’, stated: “When you have policies that people are praising, that means such policies are not really good, because the people praising the policies know that they can circumvent them. But if people criticise your policies, especially in Nigeria, such policies are good; the people criticise them because they know that they cannot circumvent them.”
He therefore urged that “we should remain resolutely committed to the course and be motivated by the achievability of our desire to strengthen the economic fundamentals.”
He also advised that “when we stop importing toothpicks, stop eating imported rice cultivated with chemical, stop eating chicken imported and preserved with formaldehyde, then our economy will begin to grow.”
When prodded to give an insight on how soon would the economy recover from the current recession, the Governor replied: “When we stop importing toothpicks, stop patronising imported but not so healthy rice, stop eating imported chicken preserved with formaldehyde, then our economy will begin to grow.”
Mr Emefiele recalled that “20 years ago, we had textile, we had the groundnut pyramids, Cocoa with which the legendry Cocoa House was built and palm oil. We also used revenue from agriculture to build our economy. But after we found oil, we abandoned all that for easy money. Today, we are suffering the consequences. ”
According to him, with the size and structure of the country’s import bills, it is apparent that “we as a people cannot continue to depend on other countries for things that can easily be produced locally. By so doing, we are merely exporting jobs and importing poverty.”
“How do we justify the importation of items like eggs from South Africa, beef from Zambia and toothpick from China?” he queried.
He expressed worry that why the country cannot put its own institutions in order so as to avoid the huge amount being spent abroad, adding that the best Nigerian professionals are found abroad.
The Governor disclosed that the country was making over $3bn at the height of the oil boom, pointing out that it can now hardly make $500m. He, however, challenged the elite who prefer imported materials, saying that would not make the economy grow.
Responding to a question by one of the course participants bothering single treasury account (TSA), Mr Emefiele, said that the introduction of the Treasury Single Account was one of the best and boldest decision any administration in the country had so far taken.
According to him, the impression that the TSA was stifling banks was created to draw unnecessary sympathy, adding: “It is unfortunate that this is the way the banks have interpreted it. When I was in the bank, how much loan did I give you as a small and medium-sized enterprise?”
•Photo shows CBN Governor Emefiele.

Source News Express

Posted 03/09/2016 8:00:20 PM





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