The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele, have received a pat on the back on his 41 items policy, saying that it has both saved the nation’s foreign exchange, made diversification a reality and created jobs for many Nigerians.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, stated this position at the launching of the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), in Abuja, yesterday, saying that the CBN policy under which it refused to give foreign exchange to importers of the affected items which could be produced locally was attacked by various interest groups but that it has become evident that Mr. Emefiele and his team have been justified.
His words, “Before we even came in, I met the CBN Governor at Frankfurt, in 2014, it was my first time of meeting him and we got talking. I said to him, you are under attacks. He had just listed certain items for which he said the CBN would not provide foreign exchange for their importation. The missiles came from all over. Some said ‘fire him, he is unfit.’ I said to him, ‘carry on because you are doing the right thing.’
“I have always been very angry about Nigeria’s appetite for imports. We import too much and no country has ever become great because it’s a great importer. You are a great country because you are a great producer.
“You buy only what you can’t produce or what you desperately need. Produce what you can produce and export what others need from you. Then your economy will become great. What happened to Nigeria over the years was that other countries found us as a very cheap source of foreign exchange for themselves.
“Rice, sugar, pencil, toothpick, eraser, envelopes, tissue paper, honey, tomato pastes, red wine, champagnes and the rest of them. We were importing shiploads of them and we were clapping for ourselves. Virtually everything we were importing went back to sustain the economies of other countries, while bringing unemployment and poverty into our own country.
“Today, our youths have nowhere to go and when you said let us slow this down some people said he was an enemy. But I said to him carry on.