Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, says Nigeria’s economy has performed poorly in the last couple of years, warning that the road ahead for Nigerians is rough and tough.
Emefiele, who has just been confirmed by the Senate for a second term in office, reportedly made the grim remarks on the floor of the red chamber during his screening.
“The country has receded,” Emefiele was quoted to have said by The Guardian.
“I thank you for praying for me because we need it. I say this because the road ahead is still rough and very tough. But I want to appeal to all Nigerians that a time comes in the history of a country where you have to learn to respect the policies and laws of a country.
“Part of the problem that we have seen in Nigeria is lack of respect for the policies of this country. Nigeria is very good at putting in place policies that are sound and workable but implementation has always been almost zero. And it is arising because we see sabotage activities.
“We see people, when policies are made, when they pick up the pieces of paper about the policy, what they think about is how do we circumvent this policy? And that is why I said pray for us because the road ahead is still rough,”
Alarming population growth
According to the CBN governor, Nigeria’s population estimate in a few years is serious cause for concern.
He added that upon his return from a particular Asian country recently, he became really sad because Nigeria has not recorded the kind of progress it should have.
“I entered that country happy but I came out of the country sad. Sad because I could see the level of development that the country has achieved over the last 50 years. And I cast my mind back and look at my country Nigeria and asked: what have we achieved?
“This is what gives me the push that at my age of 57, I saw this country when it was good. I am looking at the country today and I am saying ‘I don’t want to say it is bad but I want to say that we have a lot of work to do because the country has, no doubt, receded.
“We just came back from the IMF/World Bank programme in April. And in the World Bank’s/IMF’s World Economic Outlook, Nigeria is positioned as a country whose population will grow and rise to over 425 million people by 2050.
That will present Nigeria as a country with the third largest population in the world after China and India, and indeed surpassing the United States of America in population.
“I worry and I do think that we all should worry that a lot of work needs to be done to make sure that we are able to put in place policies that will make life good for these 425 million people when we are the third largest population in the world.
“We from the CBN, from the monetary policy side, have come to the realisation that using the instrumentality of the Anchor Borrowers Programme where access to credit is being provided to our masses all over the country, will be a way to generate employment and boost economic activity amongst our rural population,”
Emefiele was first appointed CBN Governor by former President Goodluck Jonathan on June 3, 2014.
With his confirmation by the senate, Emefiele has become the first CBN Governor to be reappointed for a second term in office since Nigeria returned to democratic governance in 1999.
He succeeded current Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, who had fallen out with the presidency over claims that $20billion had disappeared from the nation’s treasury.
Nigeria’s Central Bank Governors are entitled to one term of five years in office, renewable at the discretion of the president.
Emefiele’s initiatives to retain high interest rates in a bid to protect the nation’s currency, ban importation of certain items that can be produced locally, boost output from farmers by imposing import restrictions on agricultural products and imposing capital controls to shore up the Naira, found favor with Buhari.