The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has urged the Federal Government to prioritise investment in infrastructure toward improving the country’s business environment and boost economic growth.
He said that the call had become imperative following the observation by the Money Policy Committee of the apx bank observed the impact of poor infrastructure on rising domestic price levels.
Speaking yesterday night in Abuja while reading the communique on the 282nd Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the apex bank, Emefiele, however, commended the government’s effort at economic diversification while calling for more support to boost non-oil exports.
According to him, the Committee commended the gradual diversification of the economy with the increased contribution of the non-oil sector to Government revenues.
“It called for more support to increase non-oil exports as a source of foreign exchange earnings into the economy. Members also reiterated the impact of poor infrastructure on rising domestic price levels, urging the Federal Government to prioritise investment in public utilities to improve the business environment. These include transportation networks, power supply, education and health,” he said.
He suggested that funding for such projects could be sourced through equitable partnerships with foreign investors and Nigerians in diaspora.
Emefiele explained that various intervention schemes by the apex bank in manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, amongst others, have contributed immensely in growing the economy.
“Under the Targeted Credit Facility, the CBN has disbursed a total of N363.49 billion to 766,719 beneficiaries, comprising 638,070 households and 128, 649 small businesses.
“Under its Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS), the bank has released N134.63 billion to 37,571 entrepreneurs,” he said.
He, however, noted the negative impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and called for a robust vaccination programme to stem the tide, especially with the emergence of new variants of the virus.