Posted by News Express | 27 March 2014 | 5,284 times
Governor-designate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday told the Senate of his intention to the Bank’s budget deficit of N266 billion in 2013 under the management of suspended Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Emefiele made the promise during his screening while responding to a question by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, who asked him what he would do to address the N266 billion 2013 CBN budget deficit.
His words: “I will look into the budget expenditure components in the CBN but I am aware that we have what is called the operational expenditure profile as well as administrative expenditure profile.
“I think and I suspect that more of the deficit would have come from areas that pertain to operational expenditure and if it is about operational expenditure, it means that unfortunately, we cannot do anything about it.
“This is because those were the expenditures that were incurred in the course of open market operation which is needed to ensure that we maintain a strong currency and ensure that we continue to have a good country.”
Emefiele answered questions on a wide range of issues, including high target to bank staff, dollarisation of the Nigerian economy, the cashless policy introduced by Sanusi and the possibility of devaluing the naira.
Ruling out naira devaluation, Emefiele said: “There is no need for anybody to worry about devaluation because it is a very devastating action to be taken in the country particularly because we are an import-dependent country. Devaluation will hurt the economy. We have an economy that is still very strong with about $39bn in foreign reserve to sustain about nine months of import. For as long as we have crude prices standing at about $100 per barrel, it is a strong economy.
“So, if we allow devaluation to happen, it will hurt the economy. Because we are import dependent, if we allow devaluation, many people will lose their jobs, prices of goods and services will go up, productive capacity will come down and eventually lead to inflation.
“The policy being adopted now which allows us to hold on to exchange rates and ensure that we do not engage in devaluation should be continued.”
Emefiele said CBN under his watch would adopt development banking model. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate after being screened for about two hours.
Speaking at the end of the exercise, which was telecast live, Senate President David Mark said: “Emefiele will ensure the prerequisite responsibilities of the central bank governor without fear or favour.”
•Photo shows Emefiele.
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