By Nimi Princewill
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has hinted that the road ahead of Nigeria’s economy is still rough, and appealed to Nigerians to pray for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Emefiele said this yesterday in Abuja during his screening by the Senate, sequel to his nomination for a second term by President Buhari.
Emefiele was quizzed on various issues plaguing the economy by members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
Reacting to comments by members of the panel, Emefiele accused some Nigerians of sabotaging the economy by subverting government policies.
He said, “I thank you for praying for me because we need it. I say this because the road ahead is still rough and very tough. But I want to appeal to all Nigerians that a time comes in the history of a country where you have to learn to respect the policies and laws of a country.
“Part of the problem that we have seen in Nigeria is a lack of respect for the policies of this country. Nigeria is very good at putting in place policies that are sound and workable. But implementation has always been almost zero. And it is arising because we see sabotage activities; we see people, when policies are made, what they think about is ‘how do we circumvent this policy?’
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, if given this mandate, will push very hard to ensure that those who seek to undermine the policies of Nigeria without respecting the laws of this country will be brought to book under any circumstances. And that is why I said, please pray for us because the road ahead is still rough.”
Assenting to Emefiele’s appeal, the President, Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, encouraged the Federal Government to take tough decisions to drive economic stability in the country.
Mr. Ahmed said, “A lot of things need to be done in this country. For instance, the petroleum subsidy is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed and will require some hard decisions. On the issue of power, some very difficult decisions have to be taken as well.
“Possibly also, the government is going to be firmer in terms of the security situation. So, in my understanding of the CBN governor’s statement, some hard decisions will have to be taken, which may in the short run create some pain.”
He further urged Nigerians to be prepared for what is coming. “We cannot continue the way we are. The current level of unemployment is unacceptable; the security situation is totally unacceptable, and clearly, these things cannot be resolved without some tough decisions being taken.”