CBN targets single-digit inflation, double growth by 2024
As part of efforts to rejig the nation’s economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has restated its resolve to achieve single-digit inflation by 2024.
Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this in Calabar, Cross River State, at the weekend, during a one-day interactive session with organised labour and representatives of civil society groups in the South-South zone, stated that the bank was also targeting a double-digit economic growth within the same period.
Emefiele, who was represented by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Osita Nwanisobi, said this was part of the apex bank’s five-year policy thrust, which includes financial system stability, building a resilient financial system and projections for the economy by the end of 2024.
“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation has continued to soar. In February this year, the inflation rate was about 17.8 per cent, rose to 18.2 per cent in March and decelerated in April. In May, it was 17.9 per cent and in June, it further reduced to 17.7 per cent,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to participate in economic development by investing in agriculture, saying it was one of the ways of breaking the country’s mono-economic indices based on oil proceeds.
“That will speak to the development need of Nigeria, so that way, we now begin to look at some of these policies and prospects of our financial system, which will boil down to the improvement of lives and reduce inflation to the single-digit”.
“For instance, price of cocoa is fixed and determined elsewhere. The same goes for our oil. We don’t determine the quantity or price of our crude oil. When Russia has issues with Saudi Arabia, it affects our oil.
“But other factors outside of our control affect our oil as about 86 to 90 per cent foreign exchange earnings comes from oil and over 60 per cent of our budget expenditure depends on oil, which is the cause of our problems,” he added.
Emefiele insisted that the way forward for the country remained diversification of the economy, value addition to industry, adding that it is only then that Nigeria could make a significant impact.
He said it was worrisome that the entire African continent exported coffee worth only $4 billion to Europe, but that in 2014, Germany alone exported processed coffee worth $3.8 billion to Africa.
“It is because of these challenges that the CBN always stresses the need for backward integration and it is part of what the governor wants to stop and that is what he is doing with dairy, tomatoes and other commodities.”
“In the country today, insecurity, logistics, storage and others have become serious challenges. As we want to see more jobs being created, the bank’s commodity development initiative is crucial for the stability of our economy and over three million hectares of land under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme have been acquired with development ongoing,” he stated.
Also speaking and seeking support for CBN’s intervention initiatives, one of the resource persons, Dr. Zef Chinedu, lamented that most Nigerians, especially in the South-East and the South-South often show apathy towards Federal Government’s intervention programmes.
He told the labour leaders that over 6,000 members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) across the country have so far benefited from some of CBN’s targeted intervention programmes.