Emefiele sees a more stronger naira in near term
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele said on Sunday that he sees a much more stronger naira at the back of strengthening economic fundamentals and present foreign exchange policies of the government that have improved confidence.
“The fundamentals we already see show there is a lot of stability in the forex market, and having come down from high level to the level we are now, and the currency is just fluctuating between N359/N365 to dollar. We think it is good level compared to where we are coming from.
“We think it is important to note that as reserves get stronger, as economic fundamentals get stronger, there is no doubt that the naira will get stronger and we will see more appreciation in the currency,” Emefiele said at a press conference he jointly held with Kemi Adeodun, minister of finance after the 2017 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Emefiele also told journalists that they held meetings with a couple of correspondent banks who promised to extend more services to the local banks.
His words “It is interesting and nice to see them making some positive comments.
“They are showing more confidence in the economy and making commitments that they would make credit lines available to Nigerian banks, even in larger size.
“We held meeting with some foreign investors, not just portfolio investors, but direct investors. We had meetings with people who said they are interested in investing in infrastructure. We held meeting with people who as a result of the leadership we have seen, said they also want to come in an participate in agriculture,” the governor added.
Speaking on the IMF advice that Central Banks should focus on their banking system to ensure there is no significant distabilisation, Emefiele said the CBN was taking appropriate measures to guard the system against any possible threat.
“We are keeping our eyes on the banking system to ensure there are no significant threats that will alter the strategic health of the banking system, to the point where we have to think about things that will create problems for the economy.
Speaking on banking regulations, Emefiele said there is a lot of attention on the banking system again, to the point that certain banks in certain jurisdiction have been acclaimed too big to fail.
“From our view, no bank should fail in our environment, whether you are big or whether you are small, and what we would continue to do is to see to it that we put in place strong prudentials that will continue to guide them.
“Whether capital, liquidity, all these we would put in place to continue to strengthen, to ensure the banks remain strategically healthy to be able to perform the roles and responsibilities they are supposed to play in an economy so as to achieve growth and development in that economy,” the governor also assured.
Responding to a question on how the government is encouraging diaspora remittances and that they are put into good use.
The governor said they are working to link the country’s credit bureau arrangement to the foreign borrowing as a way of encouraging people living abroad to commit to decelopment.
“We will put in place policies that will continue to encourage them,” the governor streased.
“We are working on how we can actually link credit bureau arrangement to the foreign borrowing arrangement so that once there is a link between Nigeria and the foreign credit system, it will be easy for them to even borrow from Nigeria, and also get some form of attachments to the credit system that they have abroad, either in the United States or United Kingdom. It will be easy for them to access credit and begin to build their businesses, so that when they retire, they retire back into Nigeria, and they do not retire in Diaspora.
Emefiele further said the global economic recovery as highlighted at the meeting was encouraging which has improved global growth.
“For me, what is gratifying is that in the midst of this recovery, is that Nigeria itself has shown signs of recovery, especially the turnaround in the GDP position, from a negative position to about 0.55 per cent. That for me shows that we are in the right position,” Emefiele stated.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Washington DC