Emefiele To Bank CEOs: We Can’t Be Giant Of Africa And Import Everything

Emefiele To Bank CEOs: We Can’t Be Giant Of Africa And Import Everything

The Central Bank of Nigeria is planning to work with available talents and manpower to reduce the level of importation of products which the country has the capacity to produce locally.

Nigeria’s apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, made the remark while speaking at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Bankers Dinner.

He said, “We must take deliberate steps to diversify the base of the Nigerian economy. As the true African giant, we must fold our sleeves and do everything possible to stop the incidence of importing anything and everything.

“I believe that the lessons from the Covid-19, the lessons from the lockdown that we witnessed in 2020 are enough for us to know that as a country with the population of over 200 million people that it is time for us to do these things ourselves. It is time for us to deploy all resources that we have to help diversify the base of our economy.

“I am optimistic that this can be done, because Nigeria possesses both the human and material talents that can do this. Nigerians in any part of the world have always stood tall in all that they do and I believe that we working together as Nigerians should be able to bring our country to the level that it truly deserves as the giant of Africa.”

The Nigerian government has been relying on imports to sustain its over 200 million population.

The country imports commodities ranging from petroleum products, agro-allied products, fabrics and clothing, footwears and electronics and automobile products.

In 2020, the volume of total import was estimated at $19.89trn ($48.41bn) despite the dollar crunch suffered during the Covid-19 crisis.

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In the first quarter of 2021, Nigeria’s import surged by 54 per cent to N6.85trn from N4.44trn recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.

To attract foreign investment and diversifying the economy in 2022, Emefiele said that the country is planning to tap into the $100trn held by institutional investors in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Emefiele said, “Today over $100trn is held by institutional investors in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, most of it invested in low-yielding assets relative to high-yielding opportunities in Nigeria.

“Working to tap into this pool of funds will require the set-up of an investment framework that offers comfort and security to investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of our economy.

“In this regard, the Central Bank of Nigeria is working to set up an International Financial Center at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos that will serve as a hub for attracting domestic and external capital which is needed to strengthen our post-COVID economy.

“Our International Finance Center, when fully operational in the 2nd quarter of 2022, will help to position Nigeria as a key destination for investment in Africa.’’

source: thewhistler