The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, at the annual Bankers’ Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria on Friday night, talked about how the nation is losing N256bn monthly to pil price crash. He said:
“Given the sharp fall in oil prices, federation allocation to states have dropped by an average of about N2bn for each month.
“Similarly, average inflows of foreign exchange into the CBN have fallen to by about $1.3bn per month; this has led to a sharp decline in our forex reserves from as high as $37bn as at June 2014, to $30bn.
He said the nation needs to stop to importing everything. He encouraged Nigerians to patronize locally made goods. Despite the huge drop in the nation’s forex earnings as a result of the fall in crude oil prices, the CBN boss said Nigeria’s import rose to N917bn in September and might likely hit N1.2tn in December. He said:
“Nigeria cannot continue on this path of importing everything and anything. Indeed, it is both unacceptable and unsustainable and that was the reason we decided at the central bank to prohibit items we can produce here from accessing forex from the central bank.
“The last time we had oil prices at $50 per barrel for an extended period of time was in 2005 and our total import bill for that year was only N148bn. Yet, in the first nine months of this year, our total import bill has already risen to N917bn, and by logical extension, it is heading towards N1.2tn by the end of the year.
“The CBN will in due course embark on a national campaign called PAVE which stands for: Produce Locally, Add Value and Export. We definitely cannot survive as a people by importing everything and anything.’’