The Hard Choices That Can Revamp The Economy

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has again stressed the need for all Nigerians to face the reality of the fact that these are not normal times across the globe and therefore hard choices are required to turn around the situation.

Emefiele therefore, vowed to deploy appropriate monetary policy tools to attain inclusive growth by bolstering productive capacity and ensuring that the economy is indeed self-sufficient.

Emefiele, while delivering a lecture to participants of the Senior Executive Course 38 at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, near Jos, on Friday, stated that “developments over the last two years show that these are not normal times by any stretch of imagination” noting that “the CBN has always tried to act in good faith, with the best available information and in cognizance of current economic conditions, to pursue the goals of price and financial system stability, as well as catalyse job creation and inclusive growth in the country.”

The apex Bank Governor in his lecture entitled, ‘Managing monetary policy in turbulent times, stated that “when you have policies that people are praising, that means such policies are not really good, because the people praising the policies know that they can circumvent them.

But if people criticise your policies, especially in Nigeria, such policies are good; the people criticise them because they know that they cannot circumvent them.

He, therefore urged that “we should remain resolutely committed to the course and be motivated by the achievability of our desire to strengthen the economic fundamentals.”

He also advised that when we stop importing toothpicks, stop eating imported rice cultivated with chemical, stop eating chicken imported and preserved with formaldehyde, then our economy will begin to grow.

Emefiele recalled that 20 years ago, we had textile, groundnut pyramids, Cocoa with which the legendry Cocoa House was built and palm oil.

‘‘We also used revenue from agriculture to build our economy. But after we found oil, we abandoned all that for easy money. Today, we are suffering the consequences."

According to him, with the size and structure of the country’s import bills, it is apparent that we as a people cannot continue to depend on other countries for things that can easily be produced locally,adding that,by so doing, we are merely exporting jobs and importing poverty.

How do we justify the importation of items like eggs from South Africa, beef from Zambia and toothpick from China?” he queried.