Nigerian central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, has clarified that the country should be out of recession by the third quarter of 2017. Mr Emefiele said this while speaking after a meeting with the Nigerian senate leadership in Abuja. He said the federal government had done a lot to revive the economy,
He promised that the apex bank would continue with its intervention in the foreign exchange market. “We are very much optimistic that by the end of the second quarter, or latest the third quarter, we should be out of recession that we are in right now,” he said.
Addressing reporters at the end of the meeting, Emefiele said it was Senate President Bukola Saraki who asked CBN to update the upper legislative chamber on developments in the foreign exchange market.
“Actually, the senate president invited us to come and brief the senate leadership in a closed session and to provide some updates on the foreign exchange markets,” he said.
“You would have observed that in the last two months, the central bank has been involved in some form of intensive intervention in the foreign exchange market and this has fortunately resulted in a downward trend in the parallel market price of foreign exchange, from as high as N525 to a dollar to as low as N370.
“Right now, it hovers between N370 and N380. I think it’s an opportunity for me to say that we are going to continue this intervention because the reserves look very good. As I speak to you, our reserves stand at above $31bn and that provides us enough of firepower or ammunition to be able to defend the currency, and we will do so with all intensity to ensure that foreign exchange is procured by everybody.
“If you want to import raw materials, you will get foreign exchange; you want to import plant and equipment, you will get foreign exchange; you want to pay school fees or you are a small business that wants to buy foreign exchange for you to import your small items, you will procure foreign exchange.”