The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has urged media practitioners in Nigeria to educate the people on the gains of the nation’s rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Emefiele made the call at the opening of the 19th seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors on Wednesday in Kaduna.
The theme of the seminar is “Rebasing of Nigeria’s Economy and Implication for Financial System Strategy 2020″.
“I urge our business editors and financial correspondents to inform and educate the various economic agents and stakeholders on the gains of rebasing the economy.
“This is our chance to tell our story by ourselves and let the world hear about the Nigerian resurgent economy,” he said.
Emefiele, who was represented by the Director, Research Department of CBN, Mr Charles Mordi, said that 19 years gap before the economy was rebased posed a challenge in recording Nigeria’s accurate economic reality.
According to him, sectors like telecommunications, information technology and distributive trade of our economy recorded tremendous growth within the gap of 19 years.
“It would be unrealistic to stick to the 1999 base year figures given such structural changes, in addition to changes in the price structure over these years.
“Given these dynamics, GDP rebasing becomes inevitable in order to ascertain more accurate estimates of the size and structure of the economy,” he said.
He explained that the new GDP would help economic planners to gauge whether government was realising its goal of achieving the Vision 20-20-20 target.
The CBN governor stated that higher GDP portended advantages to Nigeria’s economy, adding that “a good standing before the international community” was part of the advantages.
Other advantages, he said, were positive assessment by international rating agencies and placing Nigeria in a more prestigious status among her peers in the international political circle.
He said that the GDP rebasing was relevant to building a safe, sound and globally competitive financial system that would propel growth and development in the country’s economy.
He reiterated CBN’s resolve to hone its development finance agenda by targeting employment generating sectors like agriculture, small and medium-scale enterprises and oil and gas.
According to him, this will help to create jobs and make ordinary Nigerians to feel the impact of the rebased GDP.
He recalled that he had reiterated the pursuit of gradual reduction in interest rates and was unequivocal in his stance against any form of depreciation of the Naira.
“I will ensure exchange rate stability in order to build and maintain a healthy external reserve position.” he said.
Emefiele assured that the apex bank would pursue a zero-tolerance policy on fraudulent borrowers by enhancing the operation of credit bureaus.
He said that the bank would establish a National Credit Scoring System to enhance access to credit, adding that the system would enhance risk-based supervision framework for the banking industry. [NAN]