The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Wednesday said that the improvement in economic performance, which was confirmed by the report of the country’s exit from recession, would enable the apex bank to bring down interest and inflation rates, as well as ensure stability in the foreign exchange market.
Emefiele, while speaking at the opening session of a workshop on ‘Import substitution and the dynamics of interest and exchange rates management in Nigeria’, explained that the apex bank would continue to explore further avenues to ensure that interest rates were supportive of domestic production needs.
As part of measures aimed at supporting the growth and development of the economy, the CBN governor told participants at the workshop that the bank would continue to fine-tune measures to guarantee a stable exchange rate regime for the economy.
This, he added, would assist in stimulating the productive capacity of manufacturers, thus boosting their ability to create more jobs and increase the level of foreign exchange earnings for the country.
Emefiele said, “The CBN will continue to explore further avenues to ensure that interest rates are supportive of domestic production needs.
“The bank will continually fine-tune measures to ensure and guarantee a stable exchange rate regime. With ongoing recovery in economic performance, I am hugely optimistic that improved outcomes will be recorded in our work towards taming inflation, bringing down interest rates and guaranteeing exchange rate stability.
“We are consistently devising ingenious approaches to solve our peculiar challenges and will continue to learn from the experiences of other countries, particularly developing nations.”
He stated that already, some of the intervention programmes of the bank to stimulate the economy through local production such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the restriction of access to foreign exchange to 41 items as well as the recent supply of foreign exchange to Deposit Money Banks had started yielding results.
All these interventions, he added, had boosted agricultural production and non-oil exports in the face of unpredictable crude oil prices and the resultant effect on the revenue profile of Nigeria.
He added that the interventions had helped to moderate volatility in the foreign exchange rate from anticipated decreases to demand for foreign exchange from increased domestic production of such hitherto imported commodities.
Emefiele said, “The bank has consistently sought to formulate interest and exchange rate policies that are conducive to the development of domestic private industrial activities, while taking due cognizance of other macroeconomic variables.”