Senator representing Kaduna Central, Malam Uba Sani, has applauded Nigeria’s success in curtailing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic attributing it to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele’s ability to take the nation out of three circles of recession.
According to the Senator, the exceptional leadership roles of the President and the CBN are already rebooting the nation’s economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Uba Sani, who chairs the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, also hailed Buhari and Emefiele’s success in steering the country out of a grinding economic recession within the shortest possible time ever.
“In the last six years since Emefiele’s assumption, the global economy has been through series of turbulence and Nigeria was not exempted. But he had been able to guide Nigeria out of about three circles of economic recession,” Uba Sani disclosed.
He explained that at a point uncertainties and shocks in the global market led to the plummeting of Nigeria’s reserves as crude oil price fell to as low as $28 per barrel.
“This fall which contrasted with the previous years when it averaged $100 per barrel for five straight years from 2009 to middle of 2014, threatened to totally ruin our economy which depended almost 90 per cent on oil revenue.
“By January 2016, inflation was just nine per cent, but by January 2017, prices went up and inflation skyrocketed to 18 per cent and we all thought the Nigerian economy was going to sink. Yet we survived,” he said.
On COVID-19, Uba said the level headed approach of President Buhari, had saved Nigeria from major crises on practically all fronts.
“No nation was prepared for the pandemic which humbled even the advanced countries of the world that we once assumed impenetrable.
“To date, the United States of America seems bereft of ideas on how to contend with the pandemic and its aftermath while Nigeria, is blessed with saving grace in a President who is calm, level headed and listening,” Senator Uba Sani said.
The Senator also described the phased easing of the lock down across the country as a masterstroke by the President.
“The President was worried that the lockdowns were taking dangerous toll on our economy but at the same time he was being careful not to endanger the lives of Nigeria just to save the economy, hence the phased approach.
“Already the economy is rebounding with the public becoming more conscious of the need to observe safety protocols outlined by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation,” he said.
Senator Uba Sani particularly extolled Emefiele for leading the Bankers Committee to form the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) that raised funds needed to contain the crises, provide data and logistics, and for project management.
“The frontline and proactive role of the CBN Governor in Nigeria’s efforts to contain the COVID – 19 pandemic is indeed impressive.
“Fear for the nation’s economy post-COVID-19 has been minimized with the CBN’s efforts as approved and encouraged by Mr President” he said.
He disclosed that facts available to his committee indicate that the CBN has so far disbursed about of N107.45 billion to beneficiaries from the N1.15 trillion Covid-19 Pandemic Intervention Funds.
Interestingly, he said, the CBN under Emefiele recorded another giant’s stride by encouraging the diversification of the economy to stimulate growth in the agriculture sector in line with Buhari’s vision.
The Senator further explained that the opening of the Investors’ & Exporters’ Forex Window was particularly exciting to foreign investors who took full advantage.
“There is also improvement in purchasing managers index as well as rally in stock market capitalization. Ultimately we would be relying on these reforms as we decisively move to reboot our economy postCOVID-19,” Uba Sani said.