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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Nigeria Can No Longer Depend On Oil Revenue – Emefiele

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele has re-emphasised that Nigeria can no longer depend on oil revenue, stressing the need for a more diversified economy.

The governor of the apex bank, who spoke at the maiden edition of the biannual RT 200 non-oil export summit, at Eko Hotels in Lagos, lamented that the Nigerian economy has been challenged on many fronts in recent years due to a combination of local and global factors, including disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in global logistic value chains and local security challenges.

These, according to him, have exerted undue pressure on the nation’s economy, making macroeconomic management very difficult.

“These factors impacted oil production and prices, disrupted trade and exports, reduced capital inflows and impacted food production. They also exposed the fragility of the Nigerian economy and the need for a more diversified economy.

“In the face of the challenges, the apex bank has been confronted with rising demand for foreign exchange for both goods, services, and other needs,” he said.

With the unabating demand, Emefiele said the bank has been working to manage both the demand and supply to meet foreign exchange obligations.

He noted that this among others necessitated the unveiling of the RT200 FX Programme in February, an initiative of the Bankers’ Committee aimed at raising $200 billion in non-oil export earnings over the next three to five years.

The CBN governor further said: “As things now stand, we really have very little choice left but to look inwards and find innovative solutions to our problems. Monetary Policy alone cannot bear all the burden of the expected adjustments needed to manage these difficulties.

“These problems call for urgent design and steadfast implementation of other supportive, structural and complementary policies that are broad based, coordinated and focused on complementing the work of the monetary authority.”

He disclosed that after the first quarter of implementing the scheme, a significant increase in non-oil export repatriation has been recorded while over N3.5billion rebate has been paid to eligible exporters.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the summit stressed the need for the country to shift from overdependence on oil and gas to agricultural produce, solid minerals, chemical products, furniture and clothing as well as tourism among others.

He urged Nigeria to discourage over-reliance on mono-economic revenue, which is oil, emphasised the need to scale up exports while adding that a country in need of foreign exchange has no business downplaying the importance of exports.

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