The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Godwin Emefiele, has emerged the 2017 Forbes magazine Best of Africa Innovative Banking Award.
The award was presented to Mr. Emefiele at a dinner in Washington on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, IMF, on Thursday.
President of Forbes Customs Emerging Markets, Mark Furlong, said the award was in recognition of Mr. Emefiele’s courage and determination in using monetary policy to ensure financial stability in Nigeria.
Mr. Furlong said the CBN under Mr. Emefiele had also shown transparency, which had helped to stabilise the economy through interventions in the real sector of the economy.
He cited the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP as a major boost to the development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
Before receiving the award, the CBN governor highlighted efforts since 2014 to stabilize the financial system and maintain the international value of the Naira.
He attributed the award to the efforts of the CBN management and staff, the cooperation of government to check the negative impact of global shocks on the Nigeria economy between 2014 and 2016.
The monetary authorities, he noted were glad that its policies contributed in forcing inflation down from about 18 to 16 per cent, adding he was optimistic inflation would further be lowered with other policies in place.
On CBN policy to restrict access to foreign exchange from the Nigerian foreign exchange market to some 41 items, Mr. Emefiele said the decision was to stop the country’s foreign reserves due to huge import bills, among other things.
He listed the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme as one of the Bank’s achievements, saying it helped increase the yields of farmers, create wealth and provided jobs for thousands of Nigerians.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Employment, Labour and Productivity, as well as other interest groups, including state governors to work towards creating more jobs through agriculture.
On the management of the country’s foreign exchange, Mr. Emefiele said apart from the adjustments to the Naira value, an investors’ window created in the inter-bank market has attracted over $10 billion capital inflow into the country between May and October 2017.
The CBN governor, who described Nigeria as the largest market in Africa, urged foreign investors to come to the country.
“Nigeria has huge potentials. The environment is good. The climate is good. Nigerians are hospitable and good people. Nigeria is good for business,” Mr. Emefiele noted.