By Babajide Komolafe
Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, projected that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic (GDP) growth will rise to three percent in 2019 as against 1.93 percent recorded in 2018.
In a keynote address delivered at the BusinessDay Post-Election Economic Agenda conference in Lagos, Emefiele also said the apex bank will maintain its tight monetary policy stance and stable exchange rate throughout the year.
He stressed that the nation’s economic recovery has become self sustaining with the GDP expected to pick up in the first half of the current year.
CBN, according to him, expects inflation rate to rise to 12 percent and moderate downward thereafter owing to productivity gains in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
He, however, noted that the CBN would adjust the Monetary Policy Rate (MPC) in line with unfolding conditions and outlooks. Just as in the previous year, he said the apex bank would continue in its drive to ensure that the MPR rate is set to balance the objectives of price stability with output stabilization.
On the exchange rate policy, he said the CBN, in spite of expected pressures from the volatility in the crude oil markets, would maintain its stable exchange rate over the next year. “Gross stability is projected in the foreign exchange market, given increased oil production and contained import bill,” he noted.
Expressing optimism that the country’s Balance of Payments (BoP) would remain positive in the short-term, Emefiele said that the current account balance could improve further if oil prices continued to recover. He assured that this would be “supported by improved non-oil performance as diversification efforts begin to yield results to reduce undue imports.”