Nigeria’s economic challenge is reversible, says Emefiele
The fact that Nigeria is in a crucial point in its financial history notwithstanding, the situation has equally thrown up opportunities to future prosperity.
Consequently, Nigerians have been advised to remain bold and persistent in trying new ideas and taking up opportunities in entrepreneurship to be part of the collective efforts to revive the economy.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, made the observations in his keynote address at the quarterly meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of the Banks, in Lagos, last weekend.
Meanwhile, the bank’s chief has said that given the need to maintain good internal control, ethical practice, sound risk management, healthy and stress-free banks amid a challenging times, there would be constant policy initives for the industry.
While admitting that money is scarce, price of oil, which is the major source of foreign exchange and government revenue, has significantly reduced, and may remain so for a long time, he called for fundamental changes in attitudes, orientations and practices.
“Regrettably, because our economy is still largely import-dependent, this fuels the general rise in the prices of goods and services. Hence, there is a noticeable decline in the purchasing power of the people.
“If well tackled, the current situation can pave the way to future prosperity. Where and when necessary, we must remain bold and persistent, and never afraid to try new ideas, as these are major requirements in a time of change. That is why I am confident that Nigeria will overcome our current challenges.
“Change is the categorical imperative of the moment. It applies to CBN as the nation’s lender of last resort and the banking sector regulator; it applies to banks and other financial institutions; and even, change is required from the public that we all serve,” he said.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Financial Markets, Emmanuel Ukeje, he told banks’ internal auditors that the changes required may seem slow, rapid, procedural or radical at times, but the cumulative effect will alter the business environment.
He charged them to upgrade their capacities, operations and methods, as failure will make them to become victims of change, hence they must analyse opportunities and prepare for the future.
According to him, the possibility that a careless mistake or fraud, can destabilise an entire institution and have systemic effects on the industry should be of concern to all of us.
“In this era of change and challenge, you will notice and should continue to expect, a stream of policy initiatives from the central bank. Our objective is to use monetary policy tools, sectoral preferences in resource allocation and other forms of intervention to drive our national economic recovery.
“Deposit Money Banks are critical players for the realisation of the overall thrust of government and CBN. As such, banks are expected to faithfully implement CBN Policies and Guidelines.
As is the case in all systems and climes, some people including bankers and customers, may be tempted to take undue advantage of the occasional loopholes that may arise in the course of the expected policy readjustments. As internal auditors, you must not allow or encourage this,” he said.