Over $20 billion of inflows has so far entered the country through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) foreign exchange window, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said. He disclosed this yesterday in Uyo, Akwa- Ibom State, when he declared open the annual workshop for finance correspondents and business editors.
The apex bank Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Corporate services, Edward Lemetek Adamu, cited the significant amount of inflows that had entered the country through the window since it was established in April last year as evidence that the nation’s economy has fully exited recession. Specifically, he said: “We are delighted that the economy has turned the corner with our worst days clearly behind us.
For example: GDP recovered after five quarters of continuous contraction recording positive growths of 0.7 and 1.4 per cent in quarters two and three of 2017, respectively, and signalling an exit from the recession; Inflation declined from a peak of 18.7 per cent in January 2017 to 14.3 in December 2017, Exchange Rate appreciated significantly from over N525/US$1 in February 2017 to about N360/US$1 today, tapering premium across various windows and segments of the market; FX Supply has improved since the establishment of the I&E Window, with autonomous inflows of over US$20 billion through this window alone from April 2017 to date.”
The CBN boss also noted that foreign reserves have recovered significantly from a low of just over US$23 billion in October 2016 to about US$47.37 billion as of 5 April 2018, adding that Nigeria improved in the World Bank’s “doing business indicators” for 2018 with the country rising 24 places to rank 145 out of 190 countries. He, however, admonished Nigerians manning positions of authorities to be vigilant and abhor complacent posturing in the post-recession era.
He stated that, though the economy has exited recession, people in various commanding sectors must strive to improve and sustain the policies that pulled the economy from recession to growth level. He said while the economy has exited recession, it is imperative to sustain reform ethos that pulled the economy from recession.
Emefiele said: “For one, our import bill may have fallen but our manufacturing and agriculture sectors still have a long way to go if we must attain self-sufficiency in those sectors.
We must not be quick to discard the restrictive measures, which aided our recovery simply because the metrics have improved. Whilst basking in the delight of these accomplishments, what then must we do to sustain them and ensure that we do not slide into another recession? “First thing we need to do is to remain vigilant.
Those of us who have been entrusted with leadership and policymaking responsibilities must neither become complacent nor over-confident. We must strive to improve Expand sustain the same policies that have gotten us this far. We must not be quick to discard the restrictive measures, which aided our recovery simply because the metrics have improved.”
He said at the CBN would continue to fine-tune its policies and strategies based on the understanding of evolving developments and supported by in-house technical analysis and simulations. Emefiele described the choice of seminar theme: “Sustaining economic growth beyond recession” as both relevant and timely considering the fact that “we have just exited Nigeria’s first recession in over 25 years.”
He said: “We will remain proactive in ensuring that the welfare of Nigerians is optimized at any point in time”. Giving a recap and overview of what led Nigeria economy into recession and strategies employed to get it out the recession, the governor said the bank will sustain its current reforms.
“As I noted in previous different fora, our economy plunged into recession largely due to three external shocks, namely: significant fall oil prices from an average of about US$110 per barrel to as low as US$28 per barrel; normalization of monetary policy by the United States’ Federal Reserve System, which led to a stoppage of an injection of about US$85 billion per month into the global economy; and geopolitical tensions amongst critical trading routes and partners around the world,” he said.
Source: New Telegraph