Nigeria is in the verge of witnessing industrial revolution following adoption and assured commitment toward the implementation of the Produce, Add Value and Export (PAVE), initiative being driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The PAVE modelled after business models of fast developing economies in Asia is expected to make Nigerians consume what they produce, add value to it, and even export the surplus.
Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, while speaking at the 32nd Seminar for Finance Correspondents & Business Editors, held at Royal Birds Hotel & Towers, Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State today Thursday March, explained that PAVE is an initiative akin to South-East Asia’s much referenced export-led industrialization policy which changed the
economic fortunes of countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.
PAVE , Emefiele stated is designed to be the key for fast-tracking a bucket of substitutes to Crude oil export which again is expected to encourage backward integration for the local production of select items.
The Governor, who was represented by Mr. Edward Adamu, Deputy Governor of CBN,
recalled that the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the biggest crises that has faced mankind in recent history, which impacted economies, and disrupted business activities globally.
“Expectedly, Nigeria like most commodity-dependent countries was not spared the deleterious impact of the pandemic, given our dependence on crude oil export as a major
source of revenue and foreign exchange.
“It is to mitigate against future severe consequences of shocks beyond our control that we must all join hands to ensure the success of PAVE.
“It is a clarion call to patriotism.” Emefiele advised.
He said that despite the headwinds associated with the pandemic, the Central Bank has worked very hard to ensure that Nigeria remains a vibrant economy with a diversified mix of opportunities across sectors such as ICT, Manufacturing, Solid Minerals, Trade and Agriculture.
Notwithstanding these modest achievements, he said the Bank and indeed the country cannot afford to rest on their oars as the work is far from over.
“I am mindful that our goals may appear
ambitious to some. But I am resolute and determined that we can achieve it. Many countries that are much less endowed than Nigeria are doing it.
“Consider for example that agriculture exports alone from the Netherlands was about US$120 billion last year.
” Yet, Netherlands has a land mass of about 42,000 square kilometers, which is much
smaller that the land mass of Niger State alone, at over 76,000 square kilometers.”
Emefiele, said that being a developing economy, the Banks approach to monetary policy must incorporate context and this is done by innovating around the use of
“We understand that monetary policy must
coordinate well with fiscal policy towards addressing the numerous developmental challenges our nation faces.
“Fortunately, the enabling statute envisages this and empowers us to intervene where
and when necessary.
“Under my watch, the Bank has done this
through various development finance initiatives. And with the benefit of hindsight now, we can safely say that the outcomes have so far justified our approach.
Going memory lane, Emefiele recalled, ” As you may recall, by June 2014 when I assumed office, the price of crude oil had substantially softened. Geo-political tensions were
widespread and discussions around policy normalization, post Global Economic and Financial Crisis (GEFC), filled the air, causing acute capital flow reversals especially in emerging markets like Nigeria.
“Our external reserves had fallen from a peak of US$62b in 2008 to US$37b.
“Also, due to the sharp drop in crude oil prices, the nation experienced a sharp drop in monthly foreign earnings from about US$3.2 billion to less than US$1.0billion.”
These adverse conditions eventually plunged the economy into a recession for the first time in about a quarter of a century, he said adding, “That tough period called for bold and innovative decisions to be taken and we did not shy away from doing what we considered to be in the best interest of our beloved country.”
He continued, “Let me also remind us of the commitment I made while unveiling
my vision for the CBN. It is on record that I had pledged to build a Central Bank that is professional, apolitical and people focused. My mission was and still is, to bequeath a Central Bank that focuses on building a resilient financial system that can serve the growth and development needs of our beloved country, Nigeria.
” For us, the CBN was to act as a financial catalyst by targeting strategic sectors that could create jobs on a mass scale and reduce
the country’s import bills.
To solve the immediate and long-term
economic challenges of the country, we needed to create an enabling environment with appropriate incentives to empower
innovative entrepreneurs to drive growth and development”