CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has listed some of the efforts it was putting in to develop the economy and remove it from current recession.
In a late press release on Thursday, the apex bank also decried what it described as continued and unwarranted attack on its policies by a group of Nigerians, whose real interests, findings have shown, are anything near altruistic but rather self-serving and unpatriotic.
The bank listed ensuring that inflation remains within manageable limits; intervention in critical sectors of the economy, through injection of much-needed capital to promote growth and employment; promotion of export-driven industrialisation as some of those efforts.
Others include provision of easy access to credit to farmers and small scale entrepreneurs at single digit rates, to create wealth; protecting the interest of bank customers in Nigeria; and above all; ensuring that the masses of our country’s low income earners are protected from the vagaries of high naira depreciation.
“While we respect the rights of every Nigerian or stakeholder to their respective views, we find it curious that certain interests have remained persistent in their move to misinform the larger public, with the intention of discrediting genuine efforts at managing the economy, thereby creating public distrust and panic within the financial system.
“Indeed, self-centred individuals, who have failed to assail our patriotic position, have resorted to the sponsorship of serial propaganda to misinform and mislead the public on the objectives of our policies.”
The statement signed by Acting Director of Communication, Isaac Okorafor explained that intelligence reports at the bank’s disposal revealed the involvement of some unpatriotic elements funding the push to have the CBN and the Federal Government reverse its FOREX policy, which is aimed at conserving foreign exchange, stimulating agriculture and manufacturing and also promoting exports.
“The present economic challenges that we face have been worsened by our past practice of frittering away huge earnings made from oil sales, over the years.
“As we have explained severally, our decisions on FOREX management are prompted by the challenge posed by the level of depletion of the country’s reserves, arising from issues such as a drastic reduction in oil earnings, speculative attacks and round tripping.”
CBN narrated that pressures on the country’s foreign reserves have persisted due to a huge fall in the monthly foreign earnings, which fell from over US $3.2 billion sometime in 2013 to below $500 million per month sometime in 2016, when the demand for the US dollar, particularly by importers, continued to rise considerably.
“In spite of the challenges and the basic economic fact that countries earn dollars from international trade, we have ensured we meet the genuine demand of importers to pay for eligible imports and other transactions within available resources.
“Furthermore, the Bank has continued to ensure that there is liquidity and transparency in the FOREX market.
“Despite our positive efforts, some persons and groups have chosen to play to the gallery by focusing on negativity that does the country no good.
“Nevertheless, in line with our mandate and working with the fiscal authorities, we will continue to ensure monetary and price stability as well as maintain external reserves to safeguard the international value of the Naira.
“While leaving our doors open for genuine partnership with all our stakeholders, we will only take economic decisions that will impact positively on the lives of all Nigerians.
“We therefore urge all concerned to be more patriotic and contribute to the soundness of the Nigerian economy; rather than engage in acts capable of undermining the efforts being made at moving the country out of the current economic situation”, the bank declared.