The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has urged the private sector to support the Federal Government’s efforts at increating jobs and stimulating growth of the Nigerian economy.
The CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said that Emefiele made the call at the Blueband Factory launch organised by the Unilever in Agbara, Ogun.
Emefiele also pledged the CBN’s continued support for companies committed to the objective of job-creation.
He said that there were many Nigerian youths whose potential could be harnessed to strengthen the industrial base of the country.
The CBN governor recalled the practice in time past when companies tested and offered jobs to the brightest among fresh graduates of different disciplines before they proceeded for their national youth service.
He said that a vast number of Nigerian youths was hardworking and willing to contribute their quota to the development of the country.
The CBN governor also commended the management of Unilever Nigeria Plc for heeding the bank’s call to return to Nigeria and build a world class plant after the foreign exchange restrictions on some 41 items, including margarine.
Emefiele said the policies of the apex bank and its aggressive intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market management had ensured transparency in the foreign exchange market.
With a population estimated at about 180 million people, the CBN governor said Nigeria was a ready market for investors and was indeed ready and open for business.
He, therefore, reiterated his call to investors to take advantage of the opportunities in Nigeria by bringing more investments into the country.
Emefiele, however, cautioned that Nigeria, with the population growing at an average of three per cent per annum, had to focus on growth and prosperity if it would transform its population into assets.
“We must plan to feed our growing population so it does not become a disadvantage,” he said.
Earlier, the Executive Vice President of Unilever Ghana and Nigeria, Mr Yaw Nsarkoh, lauded the CBN for supporting the company to achieve its goal of setting up the plant in Nigeria and boosting capacity in Africa.
While urging investors to disregard negative stories about Nigeria, Nsarkoh noted that businesses must be part of the solution to thriving communities.
According to Okorafor, the high point of the event was an inspection of the new Blueband factory by the CBN governor and other guests.