CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele has said that the Nigerian economy is recovering steadily but that it was a fragile growth.
He used the opportunity provided to him at the ongoing Annual Bankers’ Committee Retreat to speak about the government's efforts to push the economy back on track for growth and prosperity.
The intelligent banker who shared the podium with the Governor of Lagos State spoke elaborately about the different programs being implemented both at the federal level and at the state level to drive economic recovery.
At the event, which is currently being held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, Emefiele said although the challenges confronting the country are constituting a barrier to achieving set targets, he, however, assured all that the economy is on the path of recovery even though it still remains fragile and below potential.
He used the opportunity to commend the banks for supporting their recovery efforts. He also charged them with initiating uncommon measures that would boost the recovery drive through credit to productive sectors.
He encouraged the banks to continue to make credit available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which he described as the engine of growth.
Emefiele commended the banks for their support, cooperation, and partnership with other key stakeholders in tackling the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the measures taken by the CBN to restore the economy to the path of growth from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Godwin Emefiele stated: "With the creation of a N400 billion targeted credit facility for households and small and medium enterprises, nearly N370 billion has been released to over 800,000 beneficiaries.
On the back of this recovery, the CBN remains focused on strengthening the fundamentals of the Nigerian economy by using mostly innovative and sometimes extraordinary measures to diversify the economy, boost domestic productivity, and reduce our import dependence.
"Though the economy is recovering, growth remains fragile and below potential.
"Continuous implementation of efforts to boost credit to productive sectors is required to sustain the recovery, quicken growth, and improve the livelihood of Nigerians."
"With population growth at about 2.7 percent annually, it is important that we continue to deploy measures that will enable our economy to attain faster and more balanced growth rates of over 5 percent on an annual basis."
To stress further his administration’s commitment to fast-tracking economic growth, Emefiele spoke about the apex bank’s new initiative, known as the 100-for-100 program.
He explained, "Under this program, targeted credit of up to N5 billion will be provided to 100 firms every 100 days.
Select firms will be those investing in greenfield projects, significantly able to create employment opportunities and use local raw materials.
"The initiative will also support firms producing goods for the export market."