Nigeria May Exit Recession by Q1 2021 –CBN Gov.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has assured the nation that with sustained implementation of fiscal and monetary interventions Nigeria may be pulled out of recession in the Q1 2021.

As he said:“with the sustained implementation of our intervention measures, we also expect that growth in 2021 would attain 2 per cent due to high frequency data that indicates continued improvements in the non-oil sector of our economy.”

Emefiele, who stated the above at the 55th Annual Bankers Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos at the weekend, solicited the cooperation of stakeholders in the banking and finance sector to achieve the plan.

He painted a clear picture of the routes expected to be taken by the stakeholders in his address,saying : “The banking sector has a significant role to play as a facilitator of growth in the agriculture sector, through its intermediation function.

” Some of the opportunities in the agriculture sector that banks should explore include ways to address some of the existing gaps in the agriculture value chains, such as storage centers, transport logistics, and technology platforms, that can enable rural farmers sell their produce directly to the markets.

He urged banks to provide more funding for ICT, agriculture and infrastructural development.

“Furthermore, 36 out of the 46 economic activities tracked by NBS, reflected positive improvements in growth, which includes activities that recorded negative growth. In the Investors and Exporters Window, close to $150m is being traded daily as a result of our measures to sanitize activities in the foreign exchange market,” he said.

“In addition, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share index rose by 65 percent between April and November 2020, reflecting improved sentiments by investors on the fundamentals of publicly listed companies. As a result of these measures, GDP growth in the third quarter, improved to -3.6 percent from -6.1 percent in quarter two, even though the economy fell back into a recession.

“We however expect that Nigeria would emerge from the recession by the first quarter of 2021, due to high frequency data that indicates continued improvements in the non-oil sector of our economy.

Meanwhile,the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says only farmers who grow improved disease-resistant cassava stems will access its N25 billion facility created to boost cassava production in the country. The policy aims at ensuring that beneficiaries of the facility have increased productivity and are able to repay loans and make incomes for themselves.

A senior official of the apex bank, Chinedu Ogbonnaya, who represented the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made this known during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) BASIC-II Cassava Seed Entrepreneurs and Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA).

The event, which took place at the office of the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in Sheda, Abuja, was witnessed by major stakeholders in the cassava sector, including the CBN, NASC, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike Seeds, and IITA GoSeed.

Ogbonaya said the CBN realised that without the use of improved varieties, cassava production would not be profitable. “This year, we insisted that cassava growers must plant only improved seeds before they can access our loan facility,” he said.