Xola Collective, an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank based in Abuja, was born in the midst of adversity in Q3, 2021.
At that time a storm was instigated by some vested interests who wanted the head of the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on a platter.
The issues ranged from exchange rate to inflation and the introduction of the e-Naira.
We took the dispassionate view that, as we say in one part of the country, what is behind six is more than seven. Yes, there were serious problems confronting the country, but it was simplistic, if not naive and outright mischievous, to put all the blame on the CBN.
On the contrary, if there is one institution that has risen to the challenge of confronting Nigeria’s fundamental structural economic problems, mostly inherited by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, the CBN under the leadership of Emefiele, has been that institution – tackling everything from poor agricultural output to low incentives by providing strategic interventions and vigorously pursuing financial inclusion.
In this series for the next three days, we share with fellow compatriots a recap of some vital interventions by the bank, because where there is no recollection, the people are easily misled. It’s important to remember those moments without which things might have been worse.
Defending, Growing Nigeria’s Economy
The far-reaching interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in various sectors have shielded the nation’s economy from collapse, especially from a deep post-COVID-19 crisis. The story would have been different if not for the interventions by the apex bank. Series of interventions by the CBN through targeted policy instruments have been the springboard for modest growth recorded in the economy.
The CBN, in 2021, has sustained its continuous dual roles of combining a mixture of monetary and a bit of fiscal measures in boosting economic growth. With 37 strategic interventions, it is now clear that, had the apex bank stood aloof, concerned primarily with the monetary policy roles carved for it in constitution, the economy would have been in red aftermath of COVID-19 wreckage.
The CBN has been implementing various development finance programmes aimed at diversifying the economy particularly in the agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and other non-oil sectors. The interventions include the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the Real Sector Support Facility, Export Stimulation Scheme and the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme.
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the CBN, in 2019, began sectoral support across some select commodities with value addition to the economy. The bank designed financial interventions for various sectors. There is intervention for manufacturing/industries, agriculture, energy/infrastructure, healthcare and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
What They Said:
“It is commendable”, President, Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, on the Federal Government’s N100 billion intervention, through the CBN, to provide pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners low interest rate loans to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.