Emefiele to Nigerians: Tough economic times still ahead

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin
Emefiele, on Wednesday told Nigerians that the road to the country’s full
economic recovery is still tough and rough.

The CBN governor also said that contrary to insinuations,
the country does operate multiple exchange rates.

What is obtainable in the country, he said, is multiple
windows designed to stabilise the exchange market.

Emefiele spoke when he appeared before the Senate Committee
on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions for screening for
reappointment as CBN Governor for another five year term.

He decried the high level of disregard and disrespect of
policies and laws of the country.

For him, the Federal Government designs policies and puts
laws in place aimed at growing the economy, but implementation had always posed
a challenge.

The CBN boss noted that there was no doubt that observing
policies and laws put in place by the government was a sure way of growing the
country’s economy.

Emefiele took time to explain what the apex bank did to lift
the country out of recession.

He vowed that those who work to circumvent and flout the
laws of the country would no longer be spared.

He expressed worry over the country’s rapid population
growth rate warning that steps must be taken to put in place policies that
would take care of the projected 425 million people in 2050.

Emefiele said, “We just came back from the IMF/World Bank
programme in April. And in the World Bank’s/IMF’s World Economic Outlook,
Nigeria is positioned as a country whose population will grow and rise to over
425 million people by the year 2050.

“That will present Nigeria as a country with the third
largest population in the world after China and India and indeed surpassing the
United States of America in population.

“I worry and I do think that we all should worry that a lot
of work needs to be done to make sure that we are able to put in place policies
that will make life good for this 425 million people when we are the third
largest population in the world.

“So, we from the Central Bank of Nigeria from the monetary
policy side, have come to the realisation that using the instrumentality of the
Anchor Borrowers Programme where access to credit is being provided to our
masses all over the country, that it will be a way to generate employment and
boost economic activity amongst our rural population.

“The results are there to see that as a result of our Anchor
Borrowers Programme where we have disbursed over N190 billion to over 1.1
million smallholder farmers, cultivating over 1.3 million hectares of land,
that we need to do more of this.

“As we do this, we make finance available at low-interest
rate, we make access to credit easy for our people. And in doing this, we will
be able to create jobs for them and improve the livelihood of our people.

“That is a sole thing that we make. And I am very optimistic
that this can be achieved.”

He continued, “I went to one Asian country, I entered the
country happy but I came out of the country sadly. Sad because I could see the
level of development that this country has achieved over the last 50 years.

“And I cast my mind back and look at my country Nigeria that
what have we achieved? This is what gives me the push that at my age of 57, I
saw this country when it was good.

“I am looking at the country today and I am saying I don’t
want to say it is bad but I want to say that we have a lot of work to do;
because the country has no doubt receded somewhat.

“So from our side in the monetary policy, we will do
everything possible to ensure that with the mandate that is bestowed on us, we
will pull this country forward.

Read More  LCCI raises concern on high cost of doing business in Nigeria in 2020

 “Aside from the
Anchor Borrowers programme, we are also looking at special programmes targeted
at wholesale growth of agricultural sector in Nigeria. Aside from rice and
other small good crop markets, we have started looking at palm oil. “Because we
believe that this country has a lot of potentials in palm oil. If you think
about what this country was in the 50’s and 60’s, Nigeria being a country at
that time that controlled 40 per cent market share in palm oil industry,
exporting its palm oil to different parts of the world. But because we found
crude oil, we receded and abandoned it.

“For some of you who are very good in doing calculations, go
and check today: the price of a barrel of palm oil is more than the price of a
barrel of crude oil. So, what happened to our country?

“There are countries when they have the opportunities in
agriculture and also have opportunities in the crude sector, they didn’t let
their guards down.

“But unfortunately we did and that is what we are paying for
today. So that when there are some external shocks in the crude oil market, we
sneeze, but we only smile when the market is good.

“We will grow that market back again. And after that, we
will go into cocoa in the South West area to be sure that what we are doing
permeates all the nooks and crannies of this country. Because we think we owe
Nigerians this.”

Emefiele who thanked the lawmakers for praying for the CBN
to succeed said, “I thank you for praying for me because we need it. I say this
because the road ahead is still rough and very tough.

“But I want to appeal to all Nigerians that a time comes in
the history of a country where you have to learn to respect the policies and
laws of a country.

“Part of the problem that we have seen in Nigeria is lack of
respect for the policies of this country. Nigeria is very good at putting in
place policies that are sound and workable. But implementation has always been
almost zero.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National
Assembly Affairs, Senator Ita Enang who presented the nominee for screening
commended the speedy response of the Senate to the request of the President to
confirm Emefiele.

Enang said, “This confirmation will be seen as one of the
fastest requests to be considered by the Senate. The Executive is grateful. I hereby
present to you for confirmation, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN,”

A member of the committee, Senator Fatima Raji-Rasaki, in
her contribution, urged the CBN boss to ensure that any time there is funds
like the bail out funds, the government is properly advised on how to disburse
the funds for the benefit of Nigerians.

Senator Hope Uzodinma on his own reminded his colleagues
that the screening was for reappointment and not fresh appointment.

He noted that in the wisdom of Mr. President, the CBN Governor
passed his examination hence his reappointment for a second term.

Senator Shehu Sani noted that when things are good everybody
will come around, when things are bad everybody will run away.

The Kaduna Central Senator advised the CBN boss to consolidate
on the growth of cotton and textile industry especially in Kaduna and Katsina
states.

The touted petitions against the confirmation of Emefiele
were not mentioned during the committee session.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim merely talked
about trending audio video. Rafiu noted that the good work the CBN Governor was
doing might have attracted distraction to him.

“When you see a good thing some people want to distract it,”
he said.

Not less than 17 Senators attended the high profile screening.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Wednesday told Nigerians that the road to the country’s full economic recovery is still tough and rough.

The CBN governor also said that contrary to insinuations,
the country does operate multiple exchange rates.

What is obtainable in the country, he said, is multiple
windows designed to stabilise the exchange market.

Emefiele spoke when he appeared before the Senate Committee
on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions for screening for
reappointment as CBN Governor for another five year term.

He decried the high level of disregard and disrespect of
policies and laws of the country.

For him, the Federal Government designs policies and puts
laws in place aimed at growing the economy, but implementation had always posed
a challenge.

The CBN boss noted that there was no doubt that observing
policies and laws put in place by the government was a sure way of growing the
country’s economy.

Emefiele took time to explain what the apex bank did to lift
the country out of recession.

He vowed that those who work to circumvent and flout the
laws of the country would no longer be spared.

He expressed worry over the country’s rapid population
growth rate warning that steps must be taken to put in place policies that
would take care of the projected 425 million people in 2050.

Emefiele said, “We just came back from the IMF/World Bank
programme in April. And in the World Bank’s/IMF’s World Economic Outlook,
Nigeria is positioned as a country whose population will grow and rise to over
425 million people by the year 2050.

“That will present Nigeria as a country with the third
largest population in the world after China and India and indeed surpassing the
United States of America in population.

“I worry and I do think that we all should worry that a lot
of work needs to be done to make sure that we are able to put in place policies
that will make life good for this 425 million people when we are the third
largest population in the world.

“So, we from the Central Bank of Nigeria from the monetary
policy side, have come to the realisation that using the instrumentality of the
Anchor Borrowers Programme where access to credit is being provided to our
masses all over the country, that it will be a way to generate employment and
boost economic activity amongst our rural population.

“The results are there to see that as a result of our Anchor
Borrowers Programme where we have disbursed over N190 billion to over 1.1
million smallholder farmers, cultivating over 1.3 million hectares of land,
that we need to do more of this.

“As we do this, we make finance available at low-interest
rate, we make access to credit easy for our people. And in doing this, we will
be able to create jobs for them and improve the livelihood of our people.

“That is a sole thing that we make. And I am very optimistic
that this can be achieved.”

He continued, “I went to one Asian country, I entered the
country happy but I came out of the country sadly. Sad because I could see the
level of development that this country has achieved over the last 50 years.

“And I cast my mind back and look at my country Nigeria that
what have we achieved? This is what gives me the push that at my age of 57, I
saw this country when it was good.

“I am looking at the country today and I am saying I don’t
want to say it is bad but I want to say that we have a lot of work to do;
because the country has no doubt receded somewhat.

“So from our side in the monetary policy, we will do
everything possible to ensure that with the mandate that is bestowed on us, we
will pull this country forward.

Read More  UPDATED: Buhari returns Emefiele as CBN governor

 “Aside from the
Anchor Borrowers programme, we are also looking at special programmes targeted
at wholesale growth of agricultural sector in Nigeria. Aside from rice and
other small good crop markets, we have started looking at palm oil. “Because we
believe that this country has a lot of potentials in palm oil. If you think
about what this country was in the 50’s and 60’s, Nigeria being a country at
that time that controlled 40 per cent market share in palm oil industry,
exporting its palm oil to different parts of the world. But because we found
crude oil, we receded and abandoned it.

“For some of you who are very good in doing calculations, go
and check today: the price of a barrel of palm oil is more than the price of a
barrel of crude oil. So, what happened to our country?

“There are countries when they have the opportunities in
agriculture and also have opportunities in the crude sector, they didn’t let
their guards down.

“But unfortunately we did and that is what we are paying for
today. So that when there are some external shocks in the crude oil market, we
sneeze, but we only smile when the market is good.

“We will grow that market back again. And after that, we
will go into cocoa in the South West area to be sure that what we are doing
permeates all the nooks and crannies of this country. Because we think we owe
Nigerians this.”

Emefiele who thanked the lawmakers for praying for the CBN
to succeed said, “I thank you for praying for me because we need it. I say this
because the road ahead is still rough and very tough.

“But I want to appeal to all Nigerians that a time comes in
the history of a country where you have to learn to respect the policies and
laws of a country.

“Part of the problem that we have seen in Nigeria is lack of
respect for the policies of this country. Nigeria is very good at putting in
place policies that are sound and workable. But implementation has always been
almost zero.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National
Assembly Affairs, Senator Ita Enang who presented the nominee for screening
commended the speedy response of the Senate to the request of the President to
confirm Emefiele.

Enang said, “This confirmation will be seen as one of the
fastest requests to be considered by the Senate. The Executive is grateful. I hereby
present to you for confirmation, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN,”

A member of the committee, Senator Fatima Raji-Rasaki, in
her contribution, urged the CBN boss to ensure that any time there is funds
like the bail out funds, the government is properly advised on how to disburse
the funds for the benefit of Nigerians.

Senator Hope Uzodinma on his own reminded his colleagues
that the screening was for reappointment and not fresh appointment.

He noted that in the wisdom of Mr. President, the CBN Governor
passed his examination hence his reappointment for a second term.

Senator Shehu Sani noted that when things are good everybody
will come around, when things are bad everybody will run away.

The Kaduna Central Senator advised the CBN boss to consolidate
on the growth of cotton and textile industry especially in Kaduna and Katsina
states.

The touted petitions against the confirmation of Emefiele
were not mentioned during the committee session.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim merely talked
about trending audio video. Rafiu noted that the good work the CBN Governor was
doing might have attracted distraction to him.

“When you see a good thing some people want to distract it,”
he said.

Not less than 17 Senators attended the high profile screening.

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