GOVERNOR, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele says an initiative by the apex bank and deposit money banks to contribute five percent of their profit after tax as a contribution to development initiatives of Federal Government will soon hit the N60 billion mark.
And according to him, CBN and deposit money banks have concluded plans to unfold the disbursement criteria of the funds to the vulnerable sector in Nigeria, which he said needed access to credit.
In an acceptance speech on Saturday when he received the Man of the Year award bestowed on him by The Guardian newspaper, Emefiele noted that the exposure of the Nigerian economy to global shocks was a reflection of the fact that Nigeria, as a country, was unable to sufficiently produce what its people consume; hence the huge dependence on foreign goods.
He attributed the inability of the country to sufficiently produce what it consumes to heavy dependence on oil sector to provide the foreign exchange needed to finance the country’s imports and the poor diversification of the economy and low factor productivity in the key non-oil sector.
He also identified the ostentatious and elitist taste for imported goods in Nigeria and the inadequate finance to strategic high impact and high employment multiplier sectors as major challenges facing the economy.
While noting that the level of credit in the domestic economy channelled to productive private sector was critically below the levels required to place the Nigerian economy on the path of balanced, sustainable, and inclusive growths, Mr Emefiele, however, assured that the CBN and the banks in Nigeria would continue to be catalysts for development in Nigeria, particularly as it concerned the vulnerable and needy in the society.
On the efforts by the Bank in countering the adverse effects of the global shocks, he said the CBN embarked on a number of short-term and long-term policies such as a cycle of monetary tightening to rein in inflation; external reserves management through the restriction of foreign exchange for imports of goods that can be produced in Nigeria.
He said the Bank also established a decisive withdrawal of the “de facto” subsidy for the importation of 41 non-essential commodities with unfolding successes, introduced various policies to eliminate FX speculators, bettors, round-trippers and rent-seekers and thereby stabilise the exchange rate with the establishment of the Investors-Exporters Window among others.