The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has stated that in Nigeria, the indication that the right policies are being pursued by the authorities is when such policies are criticized by people, as they know they cannot be circumvented.
He then harped on the need for all Nigerians to come to terms with the fact that these are not normal times across the globe and, therefore, they should know that hard choices are required to turn around the situation.
In the light of this, Emefiele vowed to deploy appropriate monetary policy tools to attain inclusive growth by bolstering productive capacity and ensuring that the economy is indeed self-sufficient.
He stated this while delivering a lecture entitled: ‘Managing monetary policy in turbulent times’, to participants of the Senior Executive Course 38 at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, near Jos, on Friday.
Pointing out that, “developments over the last two years show that these are not normal times by any stretch of imagination,” he noted that “the CBN has always tried to act in good faith, with the best available information and in cognizance 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.”
The CBN governor, in his lecture, stated that “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.”
He, therefore, urged that “we should remain resolutely committed to the course and be motivated by the achievability of our desire to strengthen the economic fundamentals.”
Emefiele also advised that when we stop importing toothpicks, stop eating imported rice cultivated with chemical, stop eating chicken imported and preserved with formaldehyde, then our economy will begin to grow.
He recalled that 20 years ago, “we had textile, groundnut pyramids, Cocoa with which the legendry Cocoa House was built and palm oil.
‘‘We also used revenue from agriculture to build our economy. But after we found oil, we abandoned all that for easy money.
“Today, we are suffering the consequences. According to him, with the size and structure of the country’s import bills, it is apparent that we as a people cannot continue to depend on other countries for things that can easily be produced locally, adding that, by so doing, we are merely exporting jobs and importing poverty.
“How do we justify the importation of items like eggs from South Africa, beef from Zambia and toothpick from China?” he queried.
The CBN boss expressed worry why the country cannot put its own institutions in order so as to avoid the huge amount being spent abroad, adding that the best Nigerian professionals are found abroad.