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Nigeria’s Bank Chief Defends Policies


By Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

In what appeared to be a defence of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has declared that the Apex Bank’s policies are designed to serve the best interest of the majority of Nigerians.

There have been insinuations in some qauters that government’s policies are meant for the few in the West African nation.

But rising in defence of the the government he serves, Emefiele while responding to concerns raised by a panelist at the annual Media Trust Dialogue in Abuja, maintained that CBN’s policies are to help Nigeria in hard times.

“The apex Bank’s policies were put in place to help Nigeria pull through the hard times,” he said.

He observed that the country found itself in the present situation due to lack of appropriate commitment to economic diversifications, especially when the earnings from oil were as high as $140 per barrel, just as he noted that earnings of the government had risen to height of $3.3 billion and fell to $500 million monthly.

According to the CBN Governor, there was also a time when the crude oil price stabilised at $105 per barrel over a period of five years.

“What did we do with the huge accretion to the reserves then,” he queried.

Emefiele, therefore, counselled the critics of the CBN and government policies that priority will be given to Nigerian masses by managing the limited resources to provide for industrial raw materials,plants and equipment and agricultural inputs in order to create employment and generate wealth.

One of the panelists, Atedo Peterside, had raised concern that the foreign exchange policies of the CBN is hurting business interests to which the CBN Governor responded that policy makers do not make policies in isolation.

“Policies are not designed to hurt the citizenry, but the objectives are to improve the lives of all concerned – not just a few powerful and rich individuals,” he added.

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