Nigeria: Central Bank Governor Flays High Unemployment Rate

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Benin City — Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele yesterday said the country's failure to tackle its high rate of unemployment, may lead to another recession sooner than later.

Emefiele stated this while delivering the third eminent lecture series titled: Beyond the Global Financial Crisis: Monetary Policy Under Global Uncertainty, at the University of Benin.

Presenting the institution's gift to the guest lecturers, Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Friday Orumwense, said the lecture series serves as a means of enhancing knowledge and brainstorming on how to improve on capacity building of staff members.

Emefiele, who said the country has made progress in the year under review, noted that more effort should be made to reduce the country's unemployment rate.

"From some of my concluding remarks, you may have observed that there is global uncertainty that will unfortunately most certainly lead to another crisis.

"The question now is how are we as Nigerians, particularly our leaders (I am talking of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Authority) preparing our country for the next crisis?

"We have exited recession, we have seen recession pending downward to about 18.72 per cent in 2017 to about 11.37 per cent today. We have seen reserve moving up but unfortunately, we still have issues and those issues bother on unemployment rate and those issues bother on how we prepare our country, he stated.

Expressing hope that the apex bank's effort to stabilise the nation's economy would yield positive result, he said the introduction of Investors and Exporters (I&E) Window has helped to shore up the country's external reserves.

He disclosed that turnover in I&E FX Window had reached over $48 billion since the creation of the window and that the country's foreign exchange reserve had risen to $45 billion in April 2019 from $23 billion in October 2016.

Emefiele added that Nigeria's current external reserves could finance nine months of current import commitments.

"With improved availability of foreign exchange, exchange rate at I&E FX Window has remained stable in the past 24 months at an average of N360/1$, and the parallel market exchange rate has appreciated from N525/1$ in February 2017 to N360/1$ today," he added.

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