Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, has said that although the country is lucky to have exited recession, Nigeria must brace itself for the next global economic crisis.
The CBN governor said this while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Beyond the Global Financial Crisis: Monetary Policy under Global Uncertainty,’ at the University of Benin, Benin, Edo State on Wednesday.
SaharaReporters had in a report over a week ago revealed audio details of a frantic effort by Mr. Emefiele to find the money which he and other top CBN officials stole (N500bn), to restore to the bank before it becomes obvious to shareholders and the government. Although the CBN confirmed the authenticity of the audio, no investigation was carried out by the apex bank or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In the audio, Emefiele can be heard lamenting the implication of the stolen money on the economy, "the implication for the economy is no no no".
Speaking at the lecture, Emefiele said: “From some of my concluding remarks, you may have observed, whether you like it or not, there is global uncertainty that will, unfortunately, most certainly lead to another crisis.
“The question could be, how are we as Nigerians, particularly our leaders, I am talking of monetary and fiscal policy authorities, how are we preparing our country for the next crisis?
“We have luckily exited recession; we have seen recession pending downward to about 18.72 per cent in 2017 to about 11. 37 per cent today.
“We have seen the reserve moving up but unfortunately we still have issues and those issues border on the unemployment rate and those issues border on how we prepare our country,”
Eulogising on the moves made by the CBN to stabilise Nigeria’s economy, Emefiele said the introduction of the investors and exporters’ window had helped in growing the country’s external reserves.
He said the turnover in the I&E FX Window had reached over $48bn since the inception of the window and that the nation’s foreign exchange reserve had risen to $45bn in April 2019 from $23bn in October 2016.
As a result of availability of foreign exchange, the CBN governor said that the exchange rate at I&E FX Window had been stable over the past 24 months at an average of N360/$, and the parallel market exchange rate had increased from N525/$ in February 2017 to N360/$ today.
“After five consecutive quarters of negative growth beginning in the 1st quarter of 2016, a coordinated approach by the fiscal and monetary authorities supported a rebound in the nation’s economy during the second quarter of 2017.
“The recovery has been driven largely by improved non-oil activities especially the agriculture sector which expanded consistently by about 3.5 per cent to 4.3 per cent reflecting government’s efforts at diversifying the economy,” he added.