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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CBN says Nigeria out of Recession by June 2017

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, expressed optimism that the present economic recession in the country would end by the end of June or latest by the third quarter of this year 2017, based on what he described as emerging positive economic indicators.

According to Emefiele, one of such indicators is the downward trend in the parallel market as regards the value of Naira against the dollar which has appreciated from as high as N525 per dollar to between N370 and N380 currently.

Emefiele spoke with journalists after a closed door meeting with Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the entire leadership of the Senate, yesterday, evening when he  briefed the Senate on some of the issues in the forex market and its interventions. He listed other indicators to include reduction in the rate of inflation by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, and the country’s foreign reserve that had also risen from over $27 billion at the beginning of the recession in June last year to over $31 billion now.

“Actually, the Senate President invited us to come and brief the Senate in a closed session and the leadership about providing some updates about the foreign exchange market and you will all have observed that in the last two months, the CBN has been involved in some form of intensive interventions in the foreign exchange market. This has fortunately resulted in a downward trend in the parallel market price of foreign exchange from as high as N525 to as low as N370. Right now, it hovers between N370 and N380".

 “I think it’s an opportunity for me to say that we are going to continue this intervention because the reserve looks very good.  As I speak to you, our reserve stands at above $31 billion and that provides us enough firepower or ammunition to be able to defend the currency and we will do so with all intensity to ensure that foreign exchange is procured by everybody", he said.

Rafiu said  lawmakers would ensure the intervention was sustainable, adding that  “as usual, the leadership of the Senate is always engaging the most important sectors of our economy.’’

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