The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has revealed that it is creating the necessary ecosystem to inculcate a better credit culture among Nigerians.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known Tuesday, at the 28th Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors with the theme, “Galvanizing Development Finance and Monetary Policy for Growth”.
Emefiele who was represented by the Deputy Governor Corporate Services, Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu, noted that the theme is relevant, considering the evolving interconnectedness between development finance and monetary policy.
He further said that focusing its developmental efforts on sectors with inherent potential for growth, and accretion to foreign reserves, would enhance the fortune of the Nigerian economy.
According to him, “Our Development Finance interventions has helped to bolster agricultural production by removing obstacles faced by smallholder farmers.
“We have also improved access to markets for farmers by facilitating greater partnership with agro-processors and industrial firms in the sourcing of raw materials.
“So far, the programme has supported more than 1.5m farmers across all the 36 States of Nigeria, in cultivating 16 different commodities over 1.4 million hectares of farmland. It has also supported the creation of over 2.5m jobs across the agricultural value chain.
“The agricultural and manufacturing sectors have the ability to absorb the growing pool of eligible workers in our effort to meet local demand and save critical foreign reserves,” he said.
He stated that there is sufficient evidence of significant reductions in Nigeria’s annual imports bill, and increased non-oil exports
Futhermore, he stressed that the media also has a critical role to play in conveying a deeper understanding of the Bank’s commitment to economic growth and development.
“It is my belief that this seminar will facilitate robust interaction, leading to a deeper understanding of the theme for in-depth discussions. We hope that this seminar enriches your knowledge and that you become advocates of our interventions in enlightening the public and other stakeholders”, he ended.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor noted that the Seminar is in the centre of CBN’s policy making, adding that, “It is only when those who report and educate others, understand what we do, then Nigerians can also understand and buy in.
Speaking on the border closure, he emphasized that none of the CBN intervention program will work if the borders are porous and people dumping substandard goods on Nigerians.
In his words, “We believe that each and every one of us must do something to implement growth. Whatever we can do to make this economy to grow, we should do it. Even if it involves protecting the border. It is not border closures but protection.
“We plead that you stay with us, work with us so that together we can break this jinx and drive our economy into self sustained growth,” he pleaded.
For his part, the Commissioner for Finance, Imo State, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, commended the CBN for continuously putting the Seminar together, noting that the level of growth expected to exceed 2% by the end of the year, is due to the intervention efforts of the CBN.
He added that Imo state has positioned itself to benefit from all the CBN intervention, especially the Anchor Borrowers program.
In her welcome address, the Branch Controller, CBN, Owerri, Mrs Georgina Nwankwo, said the role of finance Correspondents and Business Editors in educating and enlightening the public cannot be overemphasized.
She however noted that financial activities in Nigeria is still being underreported despite the coverage, and urged the Journalists to expand their coverage to the rural areas.
While noting that the financial activities of the CBN needs more publicity, she added that good financial reporting will help the country grow.
The theme of the Seminar unravels the influence of monetary policy on development finance, to enhance monetary policy, so as to stabilize the economy.