CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, CBN, at the weekend said that it will employ every indispensable means whether conventional or otherwise to ensure that the economy of the country flourishes stressing that the bank’s policies though not accepted by all are appropriate to set the economy in the right part of development in the medium and long term. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele who stated this in Jos the Plateau State capital said though the apex bank has been unjustly castigated for some of its policies, local jobs have been created adding that; “I met a gentleman in London and his company produces cans and he said thank you Governor for stopping Nig. Breweries, Nig. Bottling and other companies that were importing cans because I can produce it and my sale of cans have increased 10 folds.” “Looking at the size and structure of our import bill, it is apparent that we as a people cannot continue to depend on other countries for things that can easily be produced locally. How do we justify the importation of items like eggs from South Africa, beef from Zambia and toothpick from China? It is in view of this fact that one of our fundamental quests at the CBN is to attain an inclusive growth by ensuring that the Nigerian economy is self sufficient in every sense of the word,” he said. Emefiele while presenting a paper titled ‘Managing Monetary Policy in Turbulent Times’ to participants of
course 38 at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru near Jos , at the weekend said “four commodities including rice, fish, wheat and sugar had jointly accounted for an annual food import bill of N1.3 trillion even though we had the capacity to produce them in Nigeria.” The CBN Governor lamented that Nigeria’s textile industry which was one of the highest employers of labour had been closed down because of the activities of smugglers stressing that “cheap textiles from China flooded our country and they killed our industries. We allowed this to happen, we did nothing to protect our own. “In the USA, go and say you want to import steel, they will not stop you but the kind of surcharge
they impose on you will be so heavy that you will find you cannot import steel into the country and if you dare try it, they will surcharge you and take that surcharge and subsidise their local industries to protect them.” While answering questions on the recent criticism of some of the bank’s policies by two of his predecessors, Emefiele said “It is so easy to criticise from the outside and say what is not true. As a central banker, whether present or former, what you need to do is to sit back in your garden and provide advice through channels that have been provided to you. Those channels remain open and we will continue to encourage them to use those channels and not for them to sit in their gardens saying what is not true.”