For the past eight years, Nigerians were regalled with stories of how the economy will be revamped; but then it sank deeper. Now new CBN Governor, Olayemi Michael Cardoso, under his supervision, the bank will tackle three major monetary issues to begin the pull back from the dungeon: embrace a compliance culture, halt the daily tumbling of the Naira; and tackle the rising inflation rate.
He is also confident that the size of the economy can grow to an unprecedented value of $1 trillion in Gross Domestic Product in eight years.
Hos words at his screening and four other deputies on Tuesday: “On the issue of foreign exchange, which everybody has been talking about, is very worrisome. We need to have an exchange rate that is very stable to have a country that we all dream of.
“There are two very important issues that we will have to address if we are confirmed. It is what I will term operational and system related issues.
“We are aware that there are unsettled obligations by the CBN. Whether it is $4bn, $5bn or $7bn, I don’t know but definitely the immediate priority is to ascertain the extent.
“We need to find a way to take care of that. It will be naive for us to be expecting to succeed if we are not able to handle that side of the foreign exchange market.
“Secondly, we have to come up with rules that are transparent, that any of the players in that business understands.
“We cannot reasonably expect that serious foreign investors, portfolio investors, who generally have an impact on your market, will do so if you do not have an open, transparent system that everybody understands and can rely on.
“In setting up those guidelines, one will also have to carry stakeholders along. We should be ready to engage people, get stakeholders together and share views and promptly come up with strategies.
“The two things, which appear simple, are far more important than they appear.
“These two measures, which are the immediate steps that we will take, will go a long way to ease off the situation we are having right now in terms of wanting investors to come in.
“Those that want to do business in Nigeria, they want to see this is clear, and if they don’t they will hold on to their money.
“These are the short term measures. Once we get in, it is what we will address. I know that the impact will engender greater liquidity coming into the market. Those seeming withholding confidence will come back here. They will see that the coast is clear….
“There is the need to significantly revamp the infrastructure in the central bank with respect to data and to ensure that our data gathering capacity is significantly enhanced so that we can make decisions based on proper data. This is key in measuring inflation.
“This is a big problem and it’s something we have to face frontally.”
He pledged that the CBN would work in collaboration with the fiscal authorities to address deficit financing.
“We have seen the effect of not doing things rightly. The new management of CBN will have zero tolerance for non-compliance to guidelines,” he said.
Later, Senate President Godswill Akpabio admonished the relevant Senate Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to be on its toes to closely monitor the regulatory bank.
Cardoso was later confirmed with four deputies. They are: Mr. Philip Ikeazor, Dr. Bala M. Bello, Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, and Mr. Muhammad Abdullahi Dattijo.