Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday reiterated the need for the Federal Government to diversify its economic dependence from oil to the non-oil sectors.
He said this at the opening of the 21st Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors held in Ibadan.
“The rate of oil today at below $35 underscores the harsh reality that Nigeria is left with no choice but to diversify our economy away from Oil, and into agriculture, manufacturing, services and non-oil sectors,’’ he said.
Emefiele said that the dwindling oil revenue provides the nation a painful but indispensable opportunity to look inwards in a bid to trigger economic growth.
He urged the people to begin to appreciate locally manufactured goods such as fabrics, saying that patronising such goods would make local industries thrive and boost economy.
The CBN governor, who was represented by Mr Adebayo Adelabu, a Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, CBN, said that the real sector was the engine of every economy because it facilitated the production of raw materials.
“The real sector which consists of agricultural, industrial, building and construction sub-sectors accounted for 83.67 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in 2,000.
“It witnessed a decline to 76.21 per cent in 2010 and further down to 70.71 per cent in 2013.
“The re-basing of the economy further delineated the real sector into variety of sub-sectors.
“The agriculture, mining and quarrying activities, manufacturing and construction jointly contributed about 43.2 per cent to the total GDP as at 2014, ‘’he said.
He said that such necessitated the CBN to transcend its core mandate of maintaining monetary and price stability but also covered developmental activities especially in financial intermediation and resource allocation.
Emefiele said that the developmental finance initiatives of the CBN had been hinged on the premise of economic growth, adding that concerted efforts were made to deepen credit delivery to the real sector.
“The CBN, in the implementation of schemes and programmes for real sectors development, focuses on the inherent potential in the sector.
“We have the conviction that the sector has sufficient employment capabilities, high growth potentials, likewise its significant contribution to foreign reserve, industrial base expansion and growth potential of the economy,’’ he said.
Emefiele said that the purpose of the seminar was to acquaint participants with critical issues of CBN real sector financing as an agent for economic growth and development.
He said that it was also an opportunity for them and the media to brainstorm on such issues, likewise promote healthy and cordial relationship between them.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the 3-day seminar is, “CBN Real Sector Financing: A Catalyst for Economic Growth and Development.’’