The new Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso has disclosed plans to grow Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to $1 trillion within an eight-year period.
Dr. Cardoso spoke while answering questions from senators during his Senate screening and confirmation as the governor of the CBN which also featured the now confirmed deputy governors of the apex bank, Emem Usoro, Philip Ikeazor, Muhammad Abdullahi-Dattijo, and Bala Bello
The CBN Governor assured that the CBN board will adopt a number of strategies including short term and medium terms goals to grow the economy and stated that to achieve stability in Nigeria’s exchange rate, measures must be put in place towards ensuring a healthy balance of payment in addition to the diversification of the economy.
“When you look at the dimension of inflation, we will be doing evidence-based monetary policy. We shall not be making decisions based on a whim.
“We will significantly rebound the infrastructural demand with respect to ensuring that our data gathering capacity is enhanced so we can make decisions based on proper data,” Dr. Cardoso said.
The CBN Governor revealed that his first major task would be to address operational issues confronting the CBN starting with the unsettled obligations of the CBN. Dr. Cardoso noted that Nigeria will not make progress if it is not able to handle that crucial aspect of the foreign exchange administration and therefore promised to work closely with the fiscal side and to ensure the issue of deficit financing does not become a problem.
Speaking further, Dr. Cardoso pointed out the need for a strategy known to market and industry players in tackling some of these issues adding that these immediate steps will ease restrictions in the country’s business environment.
Cardoso added that removal of oil subsidy, tightening up tax payment, among others, are part of measures to stabilize the economy.
“There’s the need to significantly revamp data gathering capacity of the CBN to help in evidence-based decision making by the regulatory house.
“We have to ramp up production of food, that is the aspect the fiscal side will handle and we’ll work very closely with the fiscal side on this, and on energy to make sure that happens quickly.
“The way money has gone in Nigeria on its own has an effect on inflation. And we have seen studies that suggest that money supply has impacted on inflation in the country.
“We also have to work very closely with the fiscal side to ensure that we work on deficit financing,” the CBN Governor stated.
He also pledged to follow due process at all times and also to bring about a change of mindset in the CBN to promote compliance, while maintaining that the apex bank under him will not be hijacked by anybody. He equally promised to consult widely and promote a culture of openness.