The North-South Economists’ Forum, NSEF, a focus group of development economists, has exonerated Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, from the continued depreciation of the value of the naira in the forex market.
The body of economists, Thursday, in a press release signed by its Chairman, Malam Ahmed Abdulkadir and Secretary, Dr. Chima Eboh, linked the fate of the naira to the low receipts from sale of crude oil and the non-export status of the Nigerian economy.
Noting that Nigeria has witnessed two recessions, the first between 2015-2017 which was due to the crash in global price of crude oil, and the second between 2019 and 2020 (induced by the Covid-19 pandemic), the group said none of these two major incidents can be traced to the CBN.
According to NSEF: “Nigeria earns a huge chunk of her foreign exchange from the sale of crude oil but much of that is spent on the importation of refined petroleum products and other basic amenities most which could have been produced in the country.
“How is it the fault of any CBN Governor or the CBN itself that the country cannot refine her crude for local consumption at least? Is CBN in charge of the refineries? Does CBN sell our crude oil? Is it the fault of CBN that Nigerians import rice, cereals, toothpick, tomato paste, beans, wheat and other basic products and agriculture produce all of which can easily be produced in the country?
“In 2018, Nigeria spent N13.1 trillion ($36.5 billion) on imports; in 2019, the figure climbed to N16.95 trillion ($47 billion).