Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had warned that the country might slide back to recession unless measures were taken to tackle the high rate of unemployment.
Emefiele gave the warning on Wednesday in Benin, Edo State, while delivering a lecture titled “Beyond the Global Financial Crisis: Monetary Policy Under Global Uncertainty” at the University of Benin.
Although he stated that the country has made progress in the year under review, he however said more efforts must be made to reduce the country’s unemployment rate.
He said: “From some of my concluding remarks, you may have observed whether you like it or not, there is global uncertainty that will unfortunately most certainly, lead to another crisis.
“The question could be, how are we as Nigerians, particularly our leaders, I am talking of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Authority, how are we preparing our country for the next set of crisis?
“We have luckily exited recession, we have seen recession pending downward to about 18.72 percent in 2017 to about 11. 37 percent today.
“We have seen reserve moving up but unfortunately, we still have issues and those issues bothers around unemployment rate and those issues bother around how do we prepare our country.”
He added that also important, is the increased coordination between fiscal and monetary policies in deploying measures that will support economic growth and reduce unemployment in the country.
He however said that the CBN will continue to take a proactive approach in mitigating the likely adverse effects that may emanate from external headwinds.
While enumerating efforts being made by the CBN to stabilize the nation’s economy, Emefiele said the introduction of the Investors and Exporters Window has helped in shoring up the country’s external reserves.
According to him, turnover in the I&E FX Window has reached over $48 billion since the inception of the Window and that our foreign exchange reserved has risen to $45 billion in April 2019 from $23 billion in October 2016.
The CBN Governor added that the Nigeria’s current stock of external reserves is now able to finance nine months of current import commitments.
He said with the improved availability of foreign exchange, the exchange rate at I&E FX Window has remained stable over the past 24 months at an average of N360/$, and the parallel market exchange rate has appreciated from N525/$ in February 2017 to N360/$ today.
Earlier in his opening remark, the Vice Chancellor of UNIBEN, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, said as the world becomes increasingly global, new ways are explored and therefore, the lecture series serves as a means to connect and to continue to rub minds together and brainstorm on how to improve on capacity building of the staff.