CBN Governor Meets with the Nigerian Senate Leadership
L-R Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, Sen. Bukola Saraki and Gov. Godwin I. Emefiele CON
The Senate has expressed satisfaction with the policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and noted that the recent policies, particularly those bordering on foreign exchange, are crucial toward the attainment of the desired diversification needed for a strong economy.
Speaking at an interactive session between the Senate and officials of the bank on the state of the nation’s economy, on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, President of the Senate President, Dr. Olubukola Saraki, along with other senators present, urged the Bank to intensify collaboration with other agencies of government towards achieving both its statutory mandates and developmental programmes.
Sen. Saraki also advised the CBN to articulate and bring forward proposals for legislation needed to promote sound economic development. He noted that it was the desire of the present administration to meet the yearnings of Nigerians as regards employment generation and enhanced productivity.
Speaking earlier, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele sought the assistance of the Senate as regards putting in place legislation needed to curb leakages that are inimical to the economic growth of Nigeria. He decried the spate of nefarious activities such as smuggling as one of the major threats to economic growth in the country.
During the interactive session, Senators asked questions on various issues bordering on the economy such as diversification of revenue sources, over dependence on oil, the ailing power sector, fiscal discipline, growing unemployment, encouragement of local farmers and entrepreneurs, recent allocation to states and exploration of the solid mineral sector.
The Governor, while responding, assured the Senators and indeed Nigerians that the Bank would do everything possible to ensure that Nigeria continues to grow its external reserves, despite the harsh economic condition. He reiterated his stand that Nigerian should not continue to import items that could be produced locally, hence the recent exclusion of 41 items from the foreign exchange list.
The Senators also sought clarifications on some initiatives of the Bank particularly, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF). They observed that many Nigerians were still not well informed about the Fund and other intervention schemes and as such found it difficult access the facilities. They, therefore, advised the Bank to intensify enlightenment about the intervention programmes so that more Nigerians can access them for the development of the economy.
Responding, the Governor expressed the Bank’s readiness to collaborate with the legislature to ensure sustainable growth.
All the principal officers of the senate were present at the session while the CBN Governor was accompanied to the National Assembly by the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna; Special Advisers and Departmental Directors.