Tunde Opalana, Abuja
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele on Wednesday gave an insight into his second term in office by warning that tough times await people and corporate bodies that violate monetary policies of the apex bank.
He said that in the next five years, the CBN under his watch is going to be tough both on policies and the demands from Nigerians. Emefiele read the riot act during his confirmation screening by the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
The CBN governor promised to strengthen the money policies to help in achieving growth and development, especially in the area of infrastructure, disclosing that “we still have a lot to do in Nigeria.
On the side of the monetary policy, we will push to see we move the country forward.
“The road ahead is rough and tough. I appeal to Nigerians to respect the policies and laws of the country. We have policies that are sound, but implementation remain zero.
How do we respect the letter and the intent of these policies in growing our business? The CBN will bring to book people and companies violating policies of the country,”
Reacting to exchange rate, the CBN governor denied the existence of multiple exchange rates, insisting that “there is nothing like that. When you talk about multiple exchange rates, you are talking about divergence. But, the exchange rate is N360 to a dollar.
“We have multiple windows and we don’t have apology for that because Nigerian banks have a responsibility to sell to their customers for businesses and for travel purposes.
We allocate specific sums of money to banks for small scale business and those who want to travel. There are multiple windows, but no multiple exchange rate.”
Emefiele, who took his time to explain the achievements and challenges he encountered in the last five years, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the anchor borrowers scheme embarked upon by the CBN which has brought a lot of revolution in rice farming and promised a revolution in palm oil production, cocoa and expansion of small scale enterprises in the first two years of his second tenure.
“As the president said, we should begin to produce what we eat. Our special programmes won’t stop on rice farming alone, but we have to move into palm oil production because in the 1960s we exported palm oil.
“The price of a barrel of palm oil is expensive than that of crude oil now. We will grow that market again and move into cocoa. Small and medium enterprises are going to receive a boost to end restiveness.
“In short, in no possible time, you will see smiles on the faces of our youth that are creative to create jobs and employment opportunities,” Emefiele said, adding that emphasis will also be on cassava, rice, soya bean and palm tree farming.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions Sen. Rafiu Ibrahim said he was overwhelmed by the glowing remarks made by senators about the CBN governor.
“It is always difficult to get an endorsement from senators across the different regions of the country overwhelmingly. We will revert to plenary. You may take a bow and go,” he ordered.