CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, CBN
governor, Mr Godwin Emefeile says
the apex bank is evolving additional
measures to boost the nation’s economy
and stabilise the naira.
Emefeile made the remark at an
interactive session with media editors
in Abuja. He however declined to give
details of the measures and modalities
for their implementation
“Don’t ask me because I will not
disclose our strategy for now’’, he said,
adding that doing so would be counterproductive
The CBN boss explained that the
Nigerian economy was not as bad as
being portrayed when compared with
other economies in Africa.
He advised importers to restrict their
imports to raw materials and equipment
rather than finished products and food
in order to reduce the pressure on the
nation’s scarce foreign exchange.
‘’CBN will soon start a nationwide
campaign to sensitise Nigerians to
items excluded from importation.
‘’This is part of efforts to save more
foreign exchange and stabilise the
‘’The solution to free fall of the naira
is by controlling the demand for foreign
currencies such as the dollar.
‘’If we are able to reduce importation,
the demand for the dollar will fall
Emefiele said the country should go
back to the farm to produce what was
“Public servants should also engage
in farming because the only business
public servants are allowed to engage
in is farming.
‘’And you don’t need power to farm
tomato, vegetables or fish’’, Emefeile
He blamed unscrupulous
businessmen who engaged in illicit
activities for exerting intense pressure
on the dollar and other currencies.
According to him, the apex bank
has ensured reasonable stability in the
value of the naira by keeping official
exchange to the dollar between N196
and N197 to the dollar.
Emefeile advised Nigerians to
always approach their banks for their
request for foreign exchange at the
official rate as against patronising the
black market operators.
‘’CBN does not have plenty dollars
to sustain the bureau de change’’, he
The CBN boss, however, insisted
that the 22 per cent depreciation
of the naira was reasonable when
compared with other emerging
economies adversely affected by
global economic recession.
‘’Zambia, for example, has
depreciated its currency by about 48
per cent, Angola by 25 per cent while
Brazil depreciated its currency by
about 48 per cent from October last
year till now.
‘’Our situation is not as bad as
people think. When you devalue,
there must be a structural adjustment.
We have never followed up with
‘’So, the approach we are adopting
at the moment is that, having done
a 22-per cent adjustment in the
currency, let us structurally adjust
‘’Let us say, look, stop importing
rice; stop importing toothpick; stop
importing tomato from South Africa;
stop importing 20 million eggs daily
‘’That’s the gist of what we are
saying. We are saying Nigeria can do
without these items. And the truth is
that the reserves are no longer there.’’
Emefeile said CBN had created the
enabling environment to encourage
the growth of small scale businesses
through the grant of soft loans to
small business operators.
He said only N60 billion of the
more than N200 billion soft loans
meant for SMEs had been accessed
so far. NAN
CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, CBN