The Coalition of Civil Society Group (COCSG) has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for implementing policies that have helped stabilise the economy.
The President and Secretary of COCSG, Comrades Etuk Bassey Williams and Abubakar Ibrahim, in the company of other members of the coalition, told journalists in Abuja, that the continued issue of good initiatives by the central bank under the leadership of Emefiele has been phenomenal.
The group noted the efforts of the Bank to boost the availability of forex to end users through retail outlets as well as the reduction of the tenor of its forward sales from the hitherto maximum cycle of 180 days, to no more than 60 days from the date of transaction.
“Measures aimed at strengthening the value of the naira against the US dollar in the overall interest of the economy and Nigerians as a whole under Emefiele’s leadership has been remarkable as since February this year, the pumping of money into the forex market, has significantly strengthened the naira against the dollar to close at N380/$1 at the parallel market last month.
“Also, aside direct sales to BDCs, fuel importers, airlines, manufacturers, agriculture sub-sectors have continued to benefit through the retail-Special Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS), at a marginal rate of N310/$, has continued to help stabilise our economy and boost the nation’s GDP,” the Coalition stated.
It also commended the CBN governor for boosting the federal government’s local investment following the bank’s keeping of the Monetary Police Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent as well as leaving the 14 Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) unchanged at 22.5 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent, adding that they massively influence growth and development and hence should be lauded.
It praised the CBN over its steadfast relationship with other stakeholders through numerous special interventions and operations, emphasising that resultant effects have positively rubbed off on the economy.
“Also worthy of note is the CBN’s massive intervention in the real sector projects centred around agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and infrastructure.
“These included the N300 billion Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF); the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF); the N213 billion Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Fund; N500 billion Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility; and the N75 billion Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
“The bailouts for states through the the CBN helped provide helped them meet their obligations. The CBN- initiated Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) scaled down the huge foreign exchange spent by Nigeria on importing food items following its kick offs in Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Zamfara, Admawa, Plateau, Lagos, Ogun, Cross River and Ebonyi and Imo states and hence directly impacted on the welfare of Nigerians,” the coalition stated.
COCSG further praised the Muhammadu Buhari administration for taming inflation in the country, just as it called on the National Assembly to set politics aside and ensure quick passage of the recently proposed 2019 Appropriation Bill.
“As all eyes seem glued on the 2019 general elections, we must not forget the budget which is key to the sustenance of the Nigerian people.
“The late passage in the past which only did harm to us and killed productivity and growth of the nation must be avoided at all cost,” the Coalition warned.
We also urge other government institutions to follow suit on the giant strides recorded by the CBN in 2018 by committing self to the economic progression at all times via hard work and selfless service to the nation.