Nigeria’s $37bn Foreign Reserves Adequate To Support Economy – Emefiele
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has assured that Nigeria’s $37bn current foreign reserves is “robust to support the economy.”
Emefiele, was quoted in a statement issued by the apex bank as giving the assurance during a virtual meeting held at the weekend with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of conglomerates in the country.
The apex bank governor, who spoke against the backdrop of recent decline in the foreign reserves, pledged the apex bank’s “willingness to provide foreign exchange to companies that required such for raw materials and machinery that could not be obtained in Nigeria.”
This is just as he also restated the commitment of the CBN to return the nation’s economy to the era when manufacturing and agricultural sectors accounted for larger contributions to the GDP.
At the virtual parley, Emefiele told the private sector CEOs that as Nigeria continued the process of full reopening of its economy they should “support efforts aimed at growing the Nigerian economy and returning it to its glory days.”
The governor also warned that the CBN would not support the importation of items that can be produced in Nigeria because the apex bank cannot be spending the foreign exchange reserves on what would not boost the economy and generate jobs.
While acknowledging the challenge of low crude oil prices to major economies of the world, particularly the Nigerian economy, the banker expressed confidence that the price of crude will not remain at low levels for a long period.
He, therefore, urged chieftains of the conglomerates to key into the current administration’s drive of diversifying the economy by taking advantage of its large population to market their products, which he insisted could be produced in Nigeria and exported to the rest of the world.
He said with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) now billed to commence in January 2021, Nigeria offered the companies opportunities to produce their items and make huge profits through the Nigerian market which, he noted, was large enough to support their businesses.
Stressing further on the need to prioritise the Nigerian market, the CBN Governor assured the companies that the apex bank would collaborate with all relevant government agencies to help tackle smuggling and promised protection for their businesses to ensure they succeed.
Similarly, he assured the CEOs of the Bank’s willingness to collaborate with other fiscal authorities to improve on their ease of doing business in Nigeria, with a view to simplifying their import and export processes.
On the issue of Direct Foreign Investments (FDIs), Emefiele said the apex bank was not opposed to the conglomerates seeking alternative but legitimate sources of foreign exchange to grow their businesses and that it would not prevent the companies from repatriating their dividends.