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Nigeria now exporting rice – Emefiele

According to Emefiele, the CBN has supported non-oil sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, health care, education, power and aviation and other allied economic value chains.

He noted that the bank’s flagship Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) that heralded recent rice revolution in Nigeria, “has changed the long-standing dependence on imported rice as the country is not only depending on domestic production, but we have now become a rice exporting country. The Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) is a major special purpose vehicle to support commercial farmers in the country in different value chains including oil palm, cotton, cocoa, among others.”

Emefiele also said the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) is a major special purpose vehicle to support commercial farmers in the country in different value chains including oil palm, cotton, cocoa, among others.

The CBN governor who made the disclosure in his keynote address at the Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors on Saturday, August 27, with the theme, ‘Policy Options for Economic Diversification: Thinking Outside the Crude Oil-Box,’ noted that the quest for building a more sophisticated economy anchored on agriculture, MSMEs, industrial and manufacturing concerns have become the major component of the bank’s monetary policy, in view of the recent challenges posed by the impact of Covid-19 and the Russia invasion of Ukraine.

Emefiele noted that, “as the world was gradually exiting the devastating negative shocks and impact of Covid 19 pandemic, the economic sanctions against Russia have further worsened the subsisting supply-chain disruptions across the globe, especially in Europe and Africa.

“The accompanying trade dislocations have aggravated supply shocks across regions, triggered unprecedented increases in commodities, energy and food prices as inflationary pressures persist to all-time high across regions. For instance, oil prices have been hovering above $100 per barrel over the past few months and have become a major drag to many industrialized economies of the world. Moreso, the blockage of shipments (predominantly grains and other food items) along the Black Sea have caused significant pressures on food prices, thus, underscoring the need to diversify our economy to ensure that unanticipated negative shocks such as this does not undermine our food security and self-sufficiency.

“Therefore, the quest for building a more sophisticated economy anchored on agriculture, MSMEs, industrial and manufacturing concerns have become the major component of our monetary policy. Nigeria has largely depended on the oil sector for revenue generation over the past four decades and the sustained decline in crude oil production has continued to negatively undermine the performance of the economy. Thus, there is the urgent need for a conscientious effort to diversify to other non-oil sectors. As I have often said, it is important that we work to create an economy that will enable us feed ourselves, create jobs for our teeming youths and improve the standard of living of our people. With our population growing by over 3 percent per annum over the past seven years, against a less than steady growth in output since 2019, expanding the production and industrial capacity of the economy must be given special attention to ensure overall macroeconomic stability.

According to Emefiele, “our continued support to the manufacturing sector and MSMEs have been yielding great results as the implementation of 44 items not valid for FX for imports has revealed. Let me take this medium to inform you once again that our intervention in the health sector, for example has begun to reduce the health care tourism being sought outside the country which is helping to conserve our foreign exchange and improve our well-being.

“Furthermore, the new 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP), which is targeted at harnessing our local raw materials to increase our domestic production, as well as exports through our deliberate credit and other supports, will soon begin to yield quality results. Moreso, the RT200 FX initiative designed to take advantage of our large domestic production to other regional markets is targeted to increase foreign exchange inflows to the economy and support exchange rate stability. In addition, the on-going work at the Dangote Refinery, when fully completed, will stop fuel importation just as we witnessed in cement, sugar and fertilizer market.”

First Bank

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