The coming 2015 elections will not deplete the fortunes and reserves of the country, Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, said in New York , Wednesday.
Speaking at the Africa Business Summit, a high level international forum on Africa’s investment climate and markets, with the theme, “Africa is rising, There are challenges, Still We Rise”, Emefiele said the economy of the Nigeria was currently doing well and that the 2015 elections would not make it take a downturn. He added that Nigeria currently has a reserve of about $41billion ,which is the highest in the continent.
He said though there were predictions in some quarters that crude prices would fall and revenues would drop, a $39-$41billion reserve was more than sufficient to support imports and production for the next seven to eight months.
“Nigeria’s economy is doing very well and 2015 will not be different, people generally are expecting that crude prices are coming down and maybe there will be reduction in production and crude prices will fall”. He however added that the country’s GDP was consistently moving up.
Allaying the fears of investors on the stability of the economy, Emefiele said Nigeria’s import reserve, with a strength of 7-8 months, was very comfortable.
Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen 18 percent year-on-year, although they had climbed 3.8 percent in July, to $38.49 billion.
Investors had grown nervous after the suspension of former Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi last February, and ahead of presidential elections in February 2015.
“It’s unlikely that the rate cuts will happen before elections early next year,” the deputy CBN governor Kingsley Moghalu had told Reuters in an interview on rate cuts in London .
“Right now, there is lot of politicking in the air, with increasing spending, but after the elections, when things are calm, then we will take a look at the landscape and see if the conditions are right” he had said.
Also speaking at the event, Olusegun Aganga, the minister of trade and investment, said the summit which is a private-public partnership, is meant to educate as well as attract investors. He added that the platform provides a level of advocacy for Nigeria’s economic image.
Aviation minister, Osita Chidoka, told the audience that there was currently a 73% potential for aeronautical investment in the country, with potentials in the infrastructure part of the sector to create clusters of infrastructure around the airports.