Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has disclosed that CBN and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) will provide N500 billion for local manufacturers to boost non-oil exports.
Emefiele made the disclosure at a workshop in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, saying that CBN would continue to take major steps to support the economy and the real sector.
Represented by CBN Deputy Governor (Corporate Services) Edward Adamu, the governor, who spoke on a theme “Sustaining economic growth beyond recession,” said it was a key to remember how the economy got into a recession in the first instance.
According to him, Nigeria entered recession because of the fall in oil prices from an average of about $110 per barrel to $28 per barrel; normalisation of monetary policy by the United States Federal Reserve System, which led to the stoppage of an injection of about $85 billion per month into the global economy; and geopolitical tensions among critical trading routes and partners around the world.
This, he said, led to a slowdown in economic growth, culminating in five consecutive quarters of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contraction, bottoming at -2.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, having grown by nearly seven per cent in previous years; rising inflation, peaking at over 18 per cent in January 2017, from as low as nine per cent in January 2016.
He said the foreign reserves would continue to grow, adding that the reserves may hit $50 billion sometime later this year.
According to him, there was also persistent increase in unemployment rate to 16.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, from 8.2 per cent at the same period of 2015; significant depreciation of the exchange rate, reaching N520 to $1 in February 2017, from as low as N155/$1 in June 2014.