The Governor Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said for Nigeria to contain the impact of Coronavirus, it must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare and cutting-edge education for its people.
Emefiele who made this statement in its current report tagged ‘Turning the Covid-19 tragedy into an opportunity for a new Nigeria” said the security and well- being of our nation is contingent on building a well- diversified and inclusive productive economy.
The Governor noted that for a country of over 200 million people, and projected to be about 450 million in a few decades, we can no longer ignore repeated warnings about the dangers that lie ahead if we do not begin to depend largely on what we produce locally.
Making reference, he said “in June 2014, when I became CBN governor imports of rice, fish, wheat and sugar alone consumed about N1.3 trillion worth of foreign exchange from the Bank,” adding that in few decades ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of many agricultural products like palm oil, cocoa and groundnuts but today, we import nearly 600,000 metric tonnes of palm oil, while Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries that were far behind us in this crop, now combine to export over 90 percent of global demand.
He said that in 2017, Indonesia earned $12.6 billion from its oil and gas sector but $18.4 billion in from palm oil.
Emefiele believed that this pandemic and the immediate response of many of our trading partners suggest that it is now more critical than ever that Nigeria take back control; not just control over its economy, but also of its destiny and its future.