Coalition of Civil Society Groups, CCSG, have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for stabilising the nation’s economy through several policies introduced by the apex bank, especially bailout funds for states and the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP, among others.
Specifically, the group noted that the ABP has scale down the huge foreign exchange spent on importing food items into the country.
Speaking at a press briefing on the groups’ activities in the outgoing year in Abuja, the President and Secretary of CCSG, Comrades Etuk Bassey Williams and Abubakar Ibrahim, said “the continued stemming out of initiatives by the apex bank have been phenomenal”.
The leaders, who were flanked by many members of the Coalition, added that they have noted the efforts of the CBN in boosting the availability of forex to end users through banks’ retail outlets as well as the reduction of the tenor of its forward sales from the hitherto maximum cycle of 180 days, to not more than 60 days from the date of transaction.
“The bailouts for states through the the CBN helped them to 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-Rivers and Ebonyi and Imo States, and hence directly impacted on the welfare of Nigerians
“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 dollars to closed 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% as well as leaving the 14 Cash Reserve Requirement, CRR unchanged at 22.5% and liquidity ratio at 30%.
According to CCSG, these efforts massively influence the economic growth and development, adding that the apex bank deserve commendations on these.
It further commended the CBN over its steadfast relationship with other stakeholders through numerous special interventions and operations, emphasising that the resultant effects have positively rubbed off on the economy.
“Also worthy of note is the CBN’s massive interventions 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 Coalition stressed.
The group also commended the Muhammadu Buhari’s 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 budget.
“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 CBN in 2018 by committing self to the economic progression at all times via hard work and selfless service to the nation”, the group said.