Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained the recent reduction in the level of the country’s foreign reserves but has said that the fall does not have anything to do with political actors.
Director of Corporate Communications of the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, who gave this explanation at the 13th Abuja Chamber of Commerce Mines and Industries (ABUCCIMA) Trade Fair in Abuja said foreign reserves fell “because of global squeeze on emerging markets, which was consequent upon increasing interest rates in the United States of America.”
Okorafor noted that other developing and emerging markets like Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina and even China were facing similar dilemma.
Despite this squeeze, Okorafor assured that notwithstanding the fall, the present level of the Nigeria’s foreign reserve now stands at “$44 billion which is capable of financing between 14 and 17 months imports which is way above internationally acceptable three months.”
He also gave assurance to customer of defunct Skye Bank that their deposits were safe in Polaris Bank.
Okorafor stated that Polaris Bank was duly registered at Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and licenced by CBN.
He also told the audience at the fair that the overall impact of CBN’s numerous interventions will continue to enhance the operational capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
These interventions the CBN said “has translated into a reflation of our economy with attendant growth and development.”
The CBN he said will continue to ensure that it delivers on its core mandate of ensuring monetary and price stability.
However, it cautioned that “it will also continually roll out proactive and innovative policies which would ensure that all economic sub-sectors especially the SMEs in Agribusiness receive the desired support.”
According to Isaac Okorafor “we are determined to ensure that Nigeria’s economy remains in a state of consistent growth even as we focus on economic diversification and national food sufficiency.”
In his response, President of ABUCCIMA, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode who was represented by Prof. Adesoji Adesugba disclosed that the Chamber has restructured and now operates through four Centres.
The prime Centre he revealed “is the Abuja Trade Centre (ATC). The other Centres are the Trade Dispute Resolution Centre (DRC), the Business Entrepreneurial Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre for Skills and Capacity Development as well as the Policy Advocacy Centre which is out to help MDAs to deliver on their respective mandates.
The 13th Abuja International Trade Fair Prince Adetokunbo Kayode said “seeks to Promote accelerated development of commerce and industry; Promote revitalization and diversification of the Nigerian economy by promoting the nation’s non-oil exports; Direct attention to the role of private sector in the Nigerian economy; Provide access to resources and technology findings; and Attract foreign investment into the Nigerian economy.
The ABUCCIMA boss expressed appreciation to the CBN for the apex bank’s swift response “which have succeeded in ridding our economy of sharp practices by some financial institutions or houses.”
In the area of Development Finance, Prince Kayode applauded the CBN for ensuring “the supply of finance to various sectors of the economy which has promoted the growth of the economy in a holistic manner making development, welfare improvement to proceed at a faster rate.”