Nigeria’s situation now requires hard choices, says Central Bank
With the economy now in recession, Nigerians have been urged to come to realities of the times, especially regarding the issues that brought the nation to the unsavory development.
For the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the situation is not a normal one and presently sweeping across the globe, hence hard choices are required to turn it around.
Meanwhile, in what seemed like a renewed drive, CBN has vowed to deploy appropriate monetary policy tools in the fight for survival to engender inclusive growth and pursuit of self-sufficiency by bolstering productive capacity in the country.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, while delivering a lecture at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, Plateau State, at the weekend, explained that unfolding developments in the last two years, which put the country low, are not normal.
Meanwhile, the bank chief has dismissed insinuations by banking industry operators that the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) stifled their operations.
He rather affirmed that TSA was one of the best and boldest decision any administration in the country had so far taken.According to him, the impression that the TSA was stifling banks was created to draw unnecessary sympathy and “it is unfortunate that this is the way the banks have interpreted it.
Perhaps refuting the claims that TSA implementation affected banks’ ability to give credit, he queried: “When I was in the bank, how much loan did I give you as a Small and Medium-sized enterprise?”
He added: “CBN has always tried to act in good faith, with the best available information and in cognisance of current economic conditions, to pursue the goals of price and financial system stability, as well as catalyse job creation and inclusive growth in the country.
“When you have policies that people are praising, that means such policies are not really good, because the people praising the policies know that they can circumvent them. But if people criticise your policies, especially in Nigeria, such policies are good; the people criticise them because they know that they cannot circumvent them.
“We should remain resolutely committed to the course and be motivated by the achievability of our desire to strengthen the economic fundamentals.”
According to him, when stop importing toothpicks, tame our craving for imported rice cultivated with chemical, stop eating chicken imported and preserved with formaldehyde, then the pressure on the economy will give way for growth.
He lamented that with the size and structure of the country’s import bills, it is apparent that the country cannot continue to depend on others for things that can easily be produced locally, which merely means “exporting jobs and importing poverty”.The Governor disclosed that the country was making over $3bn at the height of the oil boom, pointing out that it can now hardly make $500 million now.