Abuja – The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday said Nigeria would not consider the option of depreciating its currency at this time.
Emefiele made this know when he unveiled his vision for the apex bank at a media briefing in Abuja.
He said until the nation was able to look into some of the structural problems that had made its imports as high as it was today, “then we can consider depreciating our currency.
“It is not possible for us to talk about depreciating our currency until we are able to look into some of the structural problems that have made our imports to be as high as it is today.
“Nigeria is a predominantly poor dependent economy where we import practically everything.
“We need to look at how we can begin to produce some of these goods that we know we can produce locally.
“When we are able to transform ourselves from being an import-dependent economy to an export-oriented economy, then we can begin to look at the advantages of depreciating our currency,’’ he said.
On the Primary Mortgage Institution, Emefiele said the CBN was part of the major stakeholders that were working on the mortgage refinancing programme.
He said there were things still needed to ensure the success of the programme.
“We need to put a data band in place such that when you take a loan or a mortgage, if you do not pay, you will be blacklisted to ensure that you do not take loans again.
“Once we are able to put those infrastructures in place, I think it is going to be a lot easy to begin to look at mortgages and we cannot get it wrong.
“We have a lot of cash that is tied down in our existing mortgage, if people can access such funds, we shall see a lot more of economic growth,’’ Emefiele said.
On poverty reduction, Emefiele expressed regrets that many Nigerians aged 15 and 30 were unemployed, adding that the bank was working at creating jobs to resolve this issue.
“We will put a lot of policies that will support not only creating jobs for them but also improve their entrepreneurial skills.
“We will make it easy for them to access finance and when you make it possible for them to access finance definitely, what you are going to achieve is to reduce poverty,’’ he said.
He said the bank would collaborate with institutions that had put in place programmes that would support creation of jobs and reduce the level of poverty.
“As we identify them, what we will do is to collaborate with them, support them, and make it easy for them to access finance so that we can reduce the level of poverty.’’