Joe Effiong, Uyo
The failure of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to implement more people-focused as promised by its governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has been attributed to the global downturn of commodity prices, especially crude oil, Nigeria’s main export commodity.
The Director, Corporate Communications Department of CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, who expressed these regrets at the Central Bank of Nigeria Fair in Uyo on Monday, explained that it equally hindered the policies and progammes of the bank from impacting positively on the citizens.
Okoroafor, who was represented by the deputy director, public relations, Mrs Veronica Aqua, at the event themed; Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development, said that the drastic fall in foreign exchange earnings and revenue to the government resulted to the inability of state governments to pay their workers.
“On assumption of office in 2014, Governor Goodwin Emefiele, promised to make the CBN become people-focused bank but our economy went into recession as the results of the down turn in oil from $160 to $60-something dollars.
“This led to a lot of problems for us; The country’s foreign reserve became seriously depleted, which led to exchange rate depreciation and inflation rate rising to as high as 18 per cent. The country began to experience negative growths in GDP and eventually fell into recession. The situation resulted to serious scarcity of foreign exchange as people could not source for forex to pay health treatment and school fees for their wards abroad. He said due to this drastic situation, and based on the neeed to service the economy and create employment opportunity to the people, the CBN initiated the policy of restricting foreign exchange for the importation of 41 products in which the country has comparative advantage in producing of such commodities domestically.