The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said the recent rebasing of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will support its quest to be among the top 20 nations by 2020.
According to Emefiele, the exercise which placed the size of the Nigerian economy as first in Africa and 26th in the world would also afford the country a more positive sovereign rating by international rating agencies such as the Standard and Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, amongst others.
The central bank governor made this remark in an address presented at an ongoing seminar for financial journalists tagged: "Rebasing of Nigeria's Economy and Implications for Financial System Strategy (FSS) 2020," in Kaduna State yesterday.
Emefiele pointed out that rebasing the country’s GDP was relevant to building a safe, sound and globally competitive financial system that would propel inclusive growth and development in the economy.
Emefiele, whose speech was read by the Director, Research Department, CBN, Mr. Charles Mordi, added: "It is my resolve to hone the CBN's development finance agenda by targeting employment-generating sectors like agriculture, Small and Medium Enterprises, oil and gas, power and health, to confront the prostate productive segments and solve the embarrassing youth unemployment and widening infrastructure need.
“I also reiterate the pursuit of gradual reduction of interest rates and was unequivocal in my stance against any form of depreciation of the naira, but will ensure exchange rate stability in order to build-up and maintain a healthy external reserves position."
In his presentation titled: “Rebasing/Re-benchmarking of Nigeria’s GDP: Issues, Facts and Fiction,” the Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale, said the huge size of the GDP does not mean that the country has attained its potential. He however reiterated that the exercise had shown the opportunities in the economy.
Kale, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Macroeconomic Statistics, Mr. Kayode Olaniyan, urged government to develop the financial markets for private sector operators to thrive as well as to support the real sector.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, who was represented by the Head of Research at his organisation, Dr. Afolabi Olowokere, pointed out that the GDP rebasing showed a lot of growth in the service sector, stressing the need for government to develop the manufacturing sector.