Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Economic recovery, CBN ask policy makers to be vigilant

Nigeria’s apex bank has asked policy makers and leaders to remain vigilant so the country does slip back to another economic recession, stressing that it is not time to be confident of the recovery made.

The governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, gave the advice at the 25th edition of Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Emefiele said the country must improve on the policies that got its economy this far. “The first thing we need to do is to remain vigilant. Those of us who have been entrusted with leadership and policy making responsibilities must neither become complacent nor over-confident.

“We must strive to improve and sustain the same policies that have got us this far. Our import bills may have fallen but out manufacturing and agriculture sectors still have long way to go if we may attain self-sufficiency in those sectors.

“We must not be quick to discard the restrictive measures, which aided our recovery, simply because the metrics have improved.”

The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Mr. Edward Adamu, also called for strong policy coordination between key aspects of economic policy making bodies in other to sustain the growth momentum following the country’s exit from recession.

These, according to him, include fiscal, monetary, exchange and trade policies, which must be targeted at protecting farmers to boost agricultural outputs, support local companies and enhance manufacturing and industrial capacities.

He said the CBN would continue to fine-tune its policies and strategies based on the evolving developments in the economy.

“We will remain proactive in ensuring that the welfare of Nigerians is optimised at any point in time. The bank will continue to provide access to much needed credit to sectors with the potential to create jobs on a mass scale,” he added.

Emefiele also added that with the recent accretion, the bank hopes to grow the nation’s external reserve to $50 billion before the end of 2018.

“FX Reserves will continue to grow. Following recent accretion, FX Reserves may be about $50bn sometime later this year.

 

“FX Reserves has recovered significantly from a low of just over $23bn in October, 2016, to about $47.37bn as of April 5, 2018,” he noted.

The CBN governor noted that, “The economic recovery will consolidate. As the sentiments improve in the macro-economy and supported by proactive monetary, trade, industrial and fiscal policies, we expect a continued uptick in GDP growth with a positive spillover to improved unemployment rate.”

The governor assured that exchange rate stability would continue, as Nigeria entrench and sustain the transparency in the FX market, “as FX reserves accretion continues, and market confidence and improved sentiments remain, we expect that the exchange rate will not only be stable, but would begin to appreciate against major currencies.

“The adverse competitiveness outcome which such appreciation may entail would be adequately mitigated by proactive policies to ensure that our balance of payments position is not undermined,” he reassured.

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