CBN says foreign reserve to hit $50bn this year, to invest N500bn in non-oil export
Emefiele said this at the 25th Seminar for finance correspondents and business editors with the theme: “Sustaining Economic Growth Beyond Recession”, in Uyo.
Emefiele, represented by Mr Edward Adamu, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, said the reserves would continue to grow following the recent accretion the nation had recorded.
He said that the economic recovery would consolidate as the sentiments improved in the macro economy and supported by proactive monetary, trade, industrial and fiscal policies.
The governor also said the apex bank expected a continued uptick in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth with a positive spillover to improved unemployment rate.
On the foreign exchange market, he said the rate stability would continue.
“As we entrench and sustain the transparency in the FX market, as foreign FX reserves accretion continues, market confidence and improved sentiments remain.
“We expect that the exchange rate will not only be stable but would begin to appreciate against major currencies.
“The adverse competitiveness outcome which such appreciation may entail will be adequately mitigated by proactive policies to ensure that our balance of payments position is not undermined.”
According to him, there is also need for strong policy coordination.
“Finally, we expect a re-doubling of strong policy coordination, collaboration and cooperation which flourished during the very difficult times,” he added.
He said that the need was greater now than ever for a robust policy coordination between the key aspects of economic policymaking space to sustain the recovery.
This, he said, would include fiscal, monetary, exchange and trade policies, which must be targeted at protecting farmers to boost agricultural outputs and support local companies.
Emefiele said it would also enhance manufacturing and industrial capacities, to diversify the economy away from oil and fossil fuels.
CBN governor also said that the bank has finalised arrangement with Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to assist local manufacturers who are interested in non-oil exports, according to its governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Emefiele said the bank had repositioned itself to improve the economy after exiting recession.
“In order to continue our gains in local production and help boost non-oil exports, we are in the process of finalising the creation of a N500 billion fund with the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to assist local manufacturers interested in non-oil exports.
“In the area of Development Finance, the bank will continue to provide access to much-needed credit to sectors with the potential to create jobs on a mass scale.
“In this regard, we will explore opportunities to expand the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme to other crops and states,’’ Emefiele said.
He added that the Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy of CBN would sustain the tight policies that have helped reduced inflationary pressures.
According to him, this is the reason the CBN has kept the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent.
He said that the inflationary pressure would continue to ease, stressing that this might return to very low double digit or high single digit levels during the year.
He assured that foreign reserves would continue to grow following recent accretion to about US$50 billion later this year.
Earlier, the Branch Controller of CBN in Uyo, Mr Okafor Nwokoro, said the bank had been in the forefront of advancing the frontier of knowledge in all spheres of national life and promoting sustainable economic development.
According to him, the CBN has ensured monetary and price stability, maintain external reserves to safeguard the international value of the legal currency.
He said that the bank intervention in anchor borrower’s programme has revolutionised the production of rice in the country.