The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said that the challenges which the country is experiencing in the area of kidnapping, armed robbery, and other crimes would reduce if the Federal Government could have the courage to sustain the partial border closure for two years.
He said this on Friday in Auchi, Edo State, at the 1st convocation lecture of Edo University, as a guest speaker.
Emefiele spoke on the topic, “The role of monetary policy: towards economic growth in Nigeria.”
The apex bank boss said if the government with the successes so far recorded with the partial border closure, many youths that have taken to crime would have no option to embrace agriculture as it would become lucrative to do so.
He said the apex bank had adopted the unconventional approach in its monetary policy adding that this had helped to stabilise the exchange rate market.
He said the decision of the apex bank to deal with the influx of imported items by restricting foreign exchange had put Nigeria firmly in control of its economy.
He said, “I can tell you that, if Nigeria decides to close the borders for two years, the incident of ‘yahoo yahoo’ boys, kidnapping for ransom, armed banditry, and robbery will reduce to the barest minimum.
“These guys will have no option but to go into agriculture.”
He said neighbouring countries were undermining Nigeria’s economy by making their country open for others to use as a transit point for dumping their goods into Nigeria.
He noted that for an economy like Nigeria that is yet to attain its full potential, adequate measures needed to be put in place to guarantee real growth.
The CBN governor said the unconventional monetary policy approach adopted by the bank was one of the factors that restored the Nigerian economy to the growth trajectory.
He said critics of unconventional policies, couldn’t provide alternative solutions to pull the economy from its recessive position in 2014, noting that the CBN would focus more on this approach to diversify the economy and create jobs for Nigerians.
He said, “Critics of our policy say it’s unconventional. Yes, unconventional, it has delivered results.
“We have restored the economy. In their own conventional policy, the industries were dying. We don’t owe them an apology.
“When we began to utilize these tools, they were initially criticized by adherents of conventional monetary policy tools.
“Critics asserted that our foreign exchange policies constitute exchange restrictions, rationing of foreign exchange, discretionary allocation based on priority categories, and multiple currency practices.
“While there is sufficient evidence of significant reductions in our annual import bill, and increased non-oil exports, these critics assert that we are restricting trade and creating unfair competition.