The governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele,has expressed fear that the country might slide back to recession if measuresare not taken to tackle the high rate of unemployment.
He expressed his worry while delivering a lecture titled,“Beyond the Global Financial Crisis: Monetary Policy Under GlobalUncertainty” at the University of Benin.
Emefiele said thecountry has made progress in the year under review but more efforts must bemade to reduce the unemployment rate.
“From some ofmy concluding remarks, you may have observed whether you like it or not, thereis global uncertainty that will unfortunately most certainly, lead to anothercrisis.
“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 luckilyexited recession; we have seen recession pending downward to about 18.72percent in 2017 to about 11. 37 percenttoday.
“We have seenreserve moving up but unfortunately, we still have issues and those issuesbother around unemployment rate and those issues bother around how do we prepare our country?
Enumerating efforts made by the CBN to stabilize the nation’s economy, the CBN governor said the introduction of the Investors and Exporters Window has helped in shoring up the country’s external reserves. He said the turnover in the I&E FX Window has reached over $48 billion since the inception of the Window and that the Nigerian foreign exchange reserve has risen to $45 billion in April 2019 from $23 billion in October 2016.
The CBN governor added that Nigeria’s current stock ofexternal reserves is now able to finance nine months of current import commitments, adding that withthe improved availability of foreign exchange, the exchange rate at I&E FXWindow has remained stable over the past 24 months at an average of N360 to thedollar and the parallel market exchangerate has appreciated from N525 to the dollar in February 2017 to N360 today.
On his part, Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof.Fraday Orumwense said as the world becomes increasingly global, new ways areexplored and therefore, the lecture series serves as a means to connect and tocontinue to rub minds together and brainstorm on how to improve on capacitybuilding for the university staff.
He urged theuniversity staff and the students to take the lecture series seriously.