Governor of The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, says he and his team will not be deterred in their effort to steer the Nigerian economy away from the looming recession due to the global impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Emefiele, this is in spite of the push by some vested interests to impugn the integrity of the Bank.
The Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor revealed this in a press briefing in Abuja.
Okorafor disclosed that the Bank had uncovered “sinister” plans by some persons with selfish interests in Nigeria’s economic and socio-political space to distract the CBN and discredit the institution through “deliberate misinformation, complete fabrications and outright lies”.
He said that the Bank, in pursuit of its mandate steeped in the CBN Act (2007), as amended, will continue to strive to ensure increase in the external reserves.
Emiefele’s team vowed to safeguard the international value of the Naira, in addition to ensuring no individual or institution circumvents the system.
According to Okorafor, the Naira, in the past three years, had remained stable against other world currencies, due largely to strict measures put in place by the CBN to check cases of round-tripping.
Speaking further on malicious intent from unnamed persons towards the Bank, Okorafor said the Bank, working with other relevant agencies of government, has successfully curtailed the activities of economic saboteurs neck-deep in smuggling and other economic crimes.
While noting that those opposed to the policies of the CBN are unrelenting in their effort to undermine the Bank, Okorafor said the Bank remains resolute to the dictates of its enabling Act and “will not be distracted by subjective criticisms from persons who do not mean well for the general good of the Nigerian people and the economy”.
Okorafor further enthused that under Emefiele’s leadership, Nigeria’s Central Bank has made “genuine patriotic efforts at promoting economic growth and development through its intervention programmes, particularly in the agricultural sector”.
Okorafor revealed that the Bank is revamping value chains across over ten agricultural commodities, including cotton, oil palm, fish, poultry, livestock and maize, among others.
Citing the rice revolution under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) as a major contributor to shielding Nigeria from a food crisis when major rice producing countries of the world halted exports from their shores in the height of the corona virus (COVID-19).
Also alluding to the recent interventions of the Bank through the N50 billion Targeted Credit facility (TCF) for households and small businesses affected by the corona virus and the N100 billion Credit Support for the Health sector, Okorafor said the Bank remains people-oriented.