GOVERNOR of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said Nigeria must return to the golden era when the country produced goods and services to grow the economy.
Emefiele disclosed in Kaduna at a one-day North-West Zonal Stakeholders’ Interactive Enlightenment Session with the apex bank on its five-year policy thrust.
The CBN boos was represented by the CBN’s Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, Sam Okogbue, said the only way for the naira to catch up with other foreign currencies as was in the past was for Nigerians to depend less on the consumption of foreign goods. He argued that no nation in the world depends on the consumption of foreign goods and grows its economy.
The stakeholders were drawn from affiliate unions of Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and informal sector workers in Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, and other states of the North-West part of the country.
Emefiele said the apex bank took some measures to discourage foreign consumption of goods by Nigerians, insisting that Nigeria must learn to be a producing nation rather than a consuming one.
The CBN governor said, “What we are saying is that Nigerians should go back to production and that we should also abridge our insatiable taste for foreign goods so that we can stabilise our exchange rates.
“In Nigeria, we don’t produce much. I come from the East, most of our fathers were trained, institutions were built with palm oil. The University of Nigeria, Nnsuka was a product of palm kernel and palm oil. Can we do so now?
“It is not only to express an emotive passion about the fact that naira is worthless vis-à-vis other currencies but it is also a moment for sober reflection that are we really producing anything? The answer is no.
“Nigerians should moderate their consumption of foreign goods. If we do so, it will help the government to stabilise the economy. The more lasting sustainable measure is to produce what we eat.”