Monetary policy alone not enough to expand economy, says President Buhari


President Buhari

Oscarline Onwuemenyi
19 August 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that Nigeria will need to combine monetary policies with fiscal and structural policies in order to overcome its worst economic crisis in decades and return to growth.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who stated this when he declared open the Annual Meeting of the Association of African Central Banks (AACB) in Abuja, acknowledged that Nigeria is in the middle of its worst crisis in decades as a slump in oil revenues hammers public finances and the naira.

Gross domestic product shrank in the first quarter and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said a recession is likely.

“We fully understand that monetary policy alone is not sufficient to bring about desired economic growth,” Buhari told a meeting of African central bank governors in Abuja.

“For us in Nigeria, while we recognise the challenges we are confronting … we are determined to diversify the economy away from the excessive reliance on oil and other primary products.”

Economists have criticised Buhari and the government for not doing enough to address the crisis.

Nigeria’s central bank raised interest rates last month, and has been soaking up liquidity in order to support the naira, which has lost around 40 percent of its value since it was floated in June.

Buhari said the continent was confronted with slowing growth, weakening demand, rising inflation, restrictions to capital flows, rising debt levels, increases in exchange rate volatility and a depletion of foreign reserves.

A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, Mr. Femi Adesina, noted that the theme of the event was: Unwinding unconventional monetary policies: Implications for monetary policy and financial stability in Africa.

The central bank governors were meeting to discuss ways to safeguard their economies from the expected unwinding of loose monetary policies in the leading developed economies.

The event which brought together major stakeholders in the financial sector, had in discussions several ways of making Africa financially stable. Participants at the event which was headed by Mr. President himself were the Chairman, Association of African Central Banks (AACB) Mr Lucas Abaga Nchama, Vice Chairman of AACB and Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele and Chairman, Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim in Abuja.

Others were Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and Kebbi State Governor, H.E. Atiku Bagudu.

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