….says economy in ‘safe hands’
By Gabriel Ewepu
THE Coalition of Civil Society Groups, CCSG, Tuesday, hailed Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, for sustaining economic growth and development.
This was contained in an address signed by President, CCSG, Etuk Bassey Williams, and Secretary, CCSG, Abubarka Ibrahim, respectively, and read at a press conference held in Abuja.
According to Williams, effort of Emefiele and the entire Management of the CBN needs to be appreciated and commended by Nigerians for the pervasive success achieved so far in their effort to revamp the economy.
He also added that the tact of Emefiele amid COVID-19 induced economic challenges made the economy to bounce back faster compared to other African countries, and it has been impactful on the lives of Nigerians.
He said: “We observe these efforts and consider it pertinent to appreciate their hard work, commitment, dedication and tact employed in the management of Naira, empowering the Farmers and Entrepreneurs towards job and wealth creating.
“The aim of this activity toady is to encourage the CBN Governor and his team not to relent but to do more and continue to justify the confidence reposed on them by Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari.
“There is no doubt that his appointment in 2014, and re-appointment in 2020 was the right judgment. Without equivocation, Emefiele’s contribution to the development and growth of the Nigerian economy, as well as innovations in development financing, earned him President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination for a second term in office as CBN Governor; this singular achievement is by the records the first time anyone had been so nominated since 1999.
“In line with his promise at the unveiling of his Agenda in 2014, he commenced operation with the objective of enhancing access to credit to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as that sector remains the catalysts of economic growth in Nigeria.
“His tactful supervision of a periodic OMO interventions resulted in a mop up of excess liquidity to curtail inflation and boost investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s fixed income securities such as Treasury Bills and Bonds.
“He has also ensured the protection of Bank Customers, effective supervision of Deposit Money Banks and Other Financial Institutions; and deepening of Financial Inclusion through an effective banking and payments system. In recent times,
“Governor Emefiele has also backed up his pledge to facilitate job creation with the creation of the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), which is being implemented in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee.
“To encourage diversification of the economy and stimulate growth in the agriculture sector in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan, the CBN Governor established an innovative agriculture credit plan: Anchor Borrowers Programme and this has increased yield per hectare of agricultural produce like Rice, Groundnut and Cocoa.
“CBN Governor embarked on other policies such as the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP), Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), the Agri-business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), the National Collateral Registry (NCR) and lately the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), which is collaboration between the CBN and the Bankers’ Committee.”
Meanwhile, the group also asserted that the economy is in ‘safe hands’, saying that the CBN boss being a nationalistic economist, no doubt he has shown commitment in the course of his tenure, championed diversification of the Nigerian economy, away from heavy dependence on crude oil and other imported items that can be produced in the country.
“He has continued to make effort to stabilized the Naira and put the economy on a right footing. Creating the Inter-bank/Wholesale and the Investors/Exporters’ windows. This has brought great relive, leading to remarkable acreage in foreign reserve and rise in capital inflow.
“He also introduced an import exclusion policy increased patronage for local goods and stimulated local production significantly, introduces a check on the activities of the Bureau De Change (BDC) and ended continued depreciation of Naira over the years.
“In a sincere effort to salvage the naira, the CBN stopped the sales of Forex to Bureau De Change (BDC) Operators who exploit and artificially inflate dollar/Naira exchange. We applaud this move to discourage illicit financial flow, BDC racketeering and indiscriminate round tripping.
“We applaud the genuine effort of the Governor in trying to stabilize the Naira. The Governor has halted the recession that recently threatened the country through the new monetary policies on Diaspora remittance and sustainable intervention. We consider this as a master strokes.
“In conclusion, we are bold to say that ‘Nigeria is in Safe hand’ economically”, he said.