Emefiele pledges 5-year plan to diversify Nigerian economy

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, says CBN  in the next five years will aggressively pursue policies that will further diversify the Nigerian economy.

Emefiele said this in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Nsukka, Enugu State,  after a Special Convocation of the University of Nigeria (UNN), where he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration.

The pledge was coming after the Nigeria Senate on Thursday confirmed Emefiele for a second term in office as CBN Governor, starting June 3.

Emefiele said the CBN in the next phase of his administration would consolidate on already existing policies.

“Nigeria belongs to all of us and we have a role to play to make sure things get better.

“I will also emphasise that Nigerian policy makers are good at developing policies, but the biggest challenge of the Nigerian economic policy is that people try circumventing policies.

“Given this opportunity now,  we will make it very difficult for people to circumvent economic policies.

“We must learn to respect our policies. If you don’t respect the economic policies of this country, and you fall short of our economic policies as an economic saboteur, you will be dealt with,” he said.

Emefiele who is the 11th CBN Governor,  began his first five-year tenure on June 3, 2014.

Some of the major policies undertaken by the apex bank in the last five years included the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme which aimed at increasing the country’s local food production and conserving the foreign reserves.

The CBN took the decision to also ban 41 items from accessing foreign exchange through official routes to encourage local production of the items and simultaneously conserve the nation’s depleting foreign reserves.

Since then, the CBN had raised the number of items affected on the list to 43, with the inclusion of fertiliser and textile products.

Some of the items not valid for foreign exchange at the Nigerian window included rice, cement, margarine, palm produce, beef, vegetables, poultry and eggs, private airplanes, wooden doors and Iron rods, among others.

The CBN also introduced the multiple foreign exchange system, which led to the creation of the Inter-bank/Wholesale, Invisible, Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the Investors/Exporters’ windows.

Also, in 2018, the CBN signed a bilateral currency swap agreement with the People’s Republic of China worth about 2.5 billion dollars.

The currency swap agreement was  designed to aid trade transactions between China and Nigeria and remove the need to first source for U.S. Dollars before payments for transactions involving the two countries.

The CBN through the Banker’ Committee and in collaboration with all banks in Nigeria also inaugurated a centralised biometric identification system for the banking industry tagged: “Bank Verification Number (BVN)”.

Credit: NAN