President Muhammadu Buhari says he is worried about rising inflation, restrictions in capital flows and depleting forex reserves.
Speaking at the Association of African Central Banks (AACB), Buhari said the symposium, titled ‘Unwinding unconventional monetary policies: implications for monetary policy and financial stability in Africa’ was fit for the times.
“The region is confronted with several global and domestic economic challenges. Most worrisome is the slowdown in growth, weakening global demand, rising inflation, restrictions in capital flows, rising debt levels, increased exchange rate volatility and depleting external reserves,” Buhari said.
“Those of us who rely on only natural resources such as Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, and Mozambique have been hit the hardest. We have also had to contend with the effect of the Ebola Virus Disease, which struck some countries in the West-African Sub-region.
“Furthermore, China, a major trade and business partner to a number of African countries is currently slowing down as it remodels its economy, sparking fears of further weakening.”
He said “African Central Banks have been at their best in keeping African economies afloat through proactive and effective combination of conventional and innovative monetary policies”.
“I urge you to continue to look for original homegrown solutions, not to rely on ‘fit for all purposes’ prescriptions handed down from abroad. The world is a dynamic place and with innovation, we can survive.
“In Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria has for many years spearheaded economic stimulus measures through specific intervention programmes. I think these measures should be sustained through good times and through difficult times.
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we fully understand that monetary policy alone is not sufficient to bring about desired economic growth. We must carefully balance monetary and fiscal policy measures.”
“For us in Nigeria, while recognizing the challenges we are confronted with and the need to surmount them, we are determined to diversify the economy away from excessive reliance on oil and other primary products,” Buhari added.
“Consequently, we are taking measures and implementing policies that would ensure we are self-sufficient, generate massive employment for millions of our youth, and explore our untapped human and natural resources.
“We shall also embark on export and production diversification steps including investment in infrastructure; promotion of manufacturing through agro-based industries and expansion of Regional Trade.
“All these would involve integrating the informal economy into the mainstream and providing funds to Small and Medium Enterprises. We shall also continue, with greater determination and focus to pursue our goal of ensuring improved security for our country and its citizens, and without letting up on our fight against corruption and terrorism.
“Side by side, with economic stimulus measures, we must intensify our surveillance and give guidance to the operations of our financial institutions to reverse the trend of illicit flows of funds out of Africa.
“We should all be serious in putting place measures aimed at ensuring that the proceeds of these illicit flows are repatriated to their countries of origin with minimal bureaucratic hitches.”
The symposium was attended by Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, and many other central bank governors across Africa.
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