CBN will not be deterred in steering economy away from looming recession –Spokesman

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says Mr Godwin Emefiele and his team will not be deterred in their effort to steer the Nigerian economy away from the looming recession ocassioned by the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said this on Wednesday in Abuja while speaking with newsmen.

Okorafor said that in spite of the push by some vested interests to impugn the integrity of the Bank, CBN under the leadership of Emefiele was resolute in ensuring a robust economy in the country.

“The CBN has uncovered sinister plans by some persons with selfish interests in Nigeria’s economic and socio-political space to distract the CBN and discredit the institution through deliberate misinformation, complete fabrications and outright lies.

“The Bank, in pursuit of its mandate enshrined in the CBN Act (2007), as Amended, would continue to strive to ensure accretion to the external reserves to safeguard the international value of the Naira, in addition to ensuring no individual or institution circumvents the system,” he said.

According to Okorafor, the Naira, in the past three years, has remained stable against other world currencies, due largely to strict measures put in place by the CBN to check cases of round-tripping.

“The Bank, working with other relevant agencies of government, had equally curtailed the activities of economic saboteurs neck-deep in smuggling and other economic crimes,” he said.

The director of communication said that those opposed to the policies of the CBN were unrelenting in their effort to undermine the Bank.

“CBN has remained resolute to the dictates of its enabling Act and would not be distracted by subjective criticisms from persons who do not mean well for the general good of the Nigerian people and the economy,” he said.

Okoroafor recalled that the CBN, under Emefiele’s leadership, had made genuine patriotic efforts at promoting economic growth and development through its intervention programmes, particularly in the agricultural sector.

He said that the effort led to the revamp of value chains across over 10 agricultural commodities, including cotton, oil palm, fish, poultry, livestock and maize.

The director of communication cited the rice revolution under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) as a major contributor to shielding Nigeria from a food crisis.

This, he said, was when major rice producing countries of the world halted exports from their shores in the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

He said that the bank also reacted swiftly on the pandemic especially on its recent interventions.

The spokesman cited the N50 billion Targeted Credit facility (TCF) for households and small businesses affected by the coronavirus and the N100 billion credit support for the health sector as such interventions.

Okorafor condemned a situation where persons with vested interest in the economy of the country and its socio-political landscape continued to misinform unsuspecting members of the public on the policies of the Bank.

“The CBN remains committed to transparently pursue its mandate in the interest of majority of Nigerians rather than for the selfish interest of a few,” he said.

The director said that majority of Nigerians were better informed and would not indulge in unpatriotic economic acts for selfish purposes. (NAN)