Nigeria’s central bank has said its pro-market foreign exchange initiative, the investors’ and exporter’s window, recorded $10 billion inflow since it was launched in April.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed this Thursday night in Washington DC while receiving the Forbes ‘Best of Africa Award’ at an event hosted on the sideline of the 2017 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In his address, Emefiele told the audience, made up of top banking and finance executives, diplomats, business executives, technocrats as well as journalists, that Nigeria has overcome the difficult economic times occasioned mainly by the drop in the price of crude in the international market, as well as challenges faced by foreign investors in transfer of funds from emerging and frontier markets back to United States markets. This he said followed the stability in that economy.
The governor specifically thanked the investors for returning to the market and hailed Nigerians for their resilience and patience as the apex bank and the current administration implemented reforms geared towards returning the country to its glory days of self-sufficiency in manufacturing and agriculture.
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Nigeria formally exited recession in Q2 2017 after recording five consecutive quarters of negative growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tuesday predicted that Nigeria’s economy would grow faster than South Africa’s in 2017, thus returning the country to Africa’s largest economy.
“I am happy that today we are where we are but I think we must also thank our friends who have shown a lot of confidence in us, our foreign investors community have been very supportive.
“We took some decisions that they didn’t like but I’m happy that this time we’ve now taken one that really excites them, that is the opening of the investors’ window which has been particularly interesting to them and I must say that in 6 months we have seen close to about $10 billion in inflows into Nigeria as a result of that window… We thank them for their confidence in Nigeria once again,” the governor said.
On inflation, which has dropped to16 percent from a high of 18 percent in the height of recession, Emefiele expressed optimism that it will continue to decline.
“With some of the policies we have put in place we are optimistic that inflation will surely come down to the levels we have always known Nigeria for in the past,” he said just as he thanked Nigerians for standing with the monetary and fiscal authorities.
We know that we’ve managed to exit the recession with a fragile growth of 0.5 percent. We’ve seen inflation continue to trend downwards, we’ve seen exchange rate and reserves looking firmer and stronger, but I think we are determined to continue to push further to see to it that Nigeria returns to its historic growth path at least 6 – 7 percent,” he stressed, adding that until that is achieved the managers of the Nigerian economy would not rest on their oars.
He equally called on investors who are yet to return to the country to do saying there are great opportunities in the country, especially in agriculture.
”Nigeria has a lot of potential, the climate is good, the environment is good, Nigerians are hospitable people and that’s why we boldly say that Nigeria is good for business. There are few countries today that you will visit and say you want to invest in, but the returns are not as high as it is in Nigeria. We want to invite you and that for me is the message here today,” he noted.