The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has reassured of its commitment to continue with measures that will help maintain exchange rates stability.
The banks governor Godwin Emefiele, who made the commitment at the 24th annual seminar for finance correspondents and business editors at Awka, Anambra state, further promised to explore further avenues to ensure that interest rates are supportive of domestic production needs.
The Governor, who was represented by Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, described the theme of the Seminar; “Import Substitution and the Dynamics of Interest and Exchange Rates in Nigeria” as topical given the recent collaborative efforts to stimulate real sector activities in the country.
According to him, This is significant for the CBN in view of various interventions mainly to provide cheap financing for critical sectors and to enhance domestic production.
Emefiele said that the bank will continually fine tune measures to ensure and guarantee a stable exchange rate regime. While noting that there are on-going recovery in economic performance, the Governor expressed optimism that improved outcomes will be recorded towards taming inflation, bringing down interest rate and guaranteeing exchange rate stability.
Going down memory lane on measures adopted in the past to drive the economy, boost production, manage and stabilize the exchange rate as well as reduce inflation, Mr. Emefiele said the CBN is consistently devising ingenious approaches to solve peculiar challenges and will continue to learn from the experiences of other countries, particularly developing nations.
The Governor solicited the understanding and support of Nigerians which he said was what is required at this point of the country’s economic history. Mr. Emefiele enjoined participants to objectively report on the CBN’s efforts towards aligning its monetary policy objectives with broader economic policy, in efforts to generate significant domestic industrial activities that support import-substitution industrialization.
In message also delivered by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, the Deputy Governor in charge of Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, expressed appreciation to the Finance Correspondents and Business Editors for their support to the CBN in creating awareness and sensitizing Nigerians on the policies and activities of the Central Bank. Alhaji Barau pledged the Bank’s commitment to sustaining the Seminar and ensure a robust engagement with the media.
Earlier, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, represented by the Commissioner of Information, Mr. Tony Nnaechetta, while welcoming the participants to Awka, the Anambra State capital, said Anambra is the safest State in the country, a position collaborated by the Inspector-General of Police. He said security is the first enablement for the growth being experienced in the State. Chief Obiano said the foreign direct investment (FDI) into Anambra is in excess of $6billion over the past 40 months. This increment in FDI was hinged on four pillars of Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Investment and Oil & Gas. The Governor said Anambra is proud of efforts taken so far as the gross domestic product (GDP) of the State has been raised by 150%. Chief Obiano disclosed that the State has put in place Economic Stimulus Package which relieved Keke NAPEP operators and citizens from paying tolls at markets and hospitals. He hoped there will be an opportunity for the participants to see the developmental strides of the State government. He wished them a wonderful time at the Seminar and invited them to enjoy the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the State.
For his part, Mr. Chuks Sokari, the Branch Controller, CBN Awka, in his address, also welcomed the participants to Awka. He described the State as a secured and peaceful one and wished them a fruitful deliberations and pleasant stay for the duration of the Seminar.
The Chairman of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Mr. Babajide Komolafe, commended the CBN for its consistency in holding the Seminar and for being dynamic in introducing a Colloquium and evaluation test for the participants. The FICAN out-going Chairman said the Seminar is very beneficial as it provides a forum for exchange of ideas and creates access to Experts on issues in focus. He however suggested that the Seminar materials be compiled into a compendium for future reference..