Amechi Ogbonna, Washington DC, USA
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, at the weekend reassured the international business community that the country was now ready for business, having overcome the challenges of its crippling recession and concluded a general election that triggered some capital reversals from the economy.
Emefiele, who spoke on Friday in Washington DC at an informal meeting with potential investors, where he told part of the Nigerian success story, especially in areas of agriculture, exchange rate and inflation management, said though GDP growth remained fragile, some policy options implemented by the CBN including the Anchor Borrowers Programme, had become a game changer in its efforts to rejuvenate the Nigerian economy.
Speaking specifically on some key achievements, the governor noted that, “As at December 2018, a total sum of N178.48 billion had been disbursed through 19 participating financial institutions to 902,518 farmers.
“During the period, over 2.8 million and 8.4 million direct and indirect jobs respectively were created under the Anchor Borrowers Programme,”
With respect to its foreign exchange policy initiatives, Emefiele said the focus had been to ensure price stability, listing its major foreign exchange reforms to include the exclusion of importers of about 41 items that can be manufactured locally from the apex bank’s foreign exchange windows, the establishment of the investor’s and export’s window as well as the SME Window of the foreign exchange market.
Emefiele said the policy had helped to enthrone a stable exchange rate, foreign exchange liquidity, vibrancy in the capital market, improved supply of foreign exchange supply with positive impact on GDP growth.
The governor also said that Nigeria was able to raise its financial inclusion rate from from 58.4 per cent in 2016 to 63.2 per cent in 2018, expressing optimism that by end of 2020, the figure would have hit the 80 per cent target set by the bank.