?The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has asked Nigerians not to fret over global commodity price instability as the nation?s monetary authorities have buffers in place such as expected N150 billion from non-oil revenue to cushion fiscal shocks.
Speaking on Thursday, at the closing gong ceremony at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Emefiele said: ?Today the world and indeed Nigeria by extension is no doubt faced by certain vulnerabilities and challenges arising largely from the drop in commodity prices and this includes crude oil, gold and other forms of commodities in the world.
?We have seen the price of gold drop from over 3,000 dollars an ounce to just over 1,200 dollars an ounce recently, the same way we have seen the prices of crude oil drop from as high as about 110 dollars a barrel to below 50 dollars per barrel and now stabilising to about 59 dollars a barrel.?
Emefiele noted that the instability had effect on the activities of the Nigerian stock exchange, which was evident in the drop of the All Share Index ?from as high as 42,000 in July of 2014 to as low as 28,000 Wednesday 11th February 2015.
He sasid it was rather unfortunate that this has happened and that there were a number of factors which contributed to this, such as the dropping of price of commodities, including oil, the tapering that has happened and of course to some extent the hostilities in Ukraine that has resulted in the world focusing on Ukraine and the activities of Russia in Ukraine, these has had its own effects on the Nigerian stock exchange.
?But what I really need to say is that: ?There is no need for anybody to panic, the Nigerian economy remains in our view, very resilient, with gross domestic product GDP growing at a rate of 6.5 per cent, we do expect that unfortunately it would drop to as low as about 5.5 to 6 per cent in 2015, but this sill ranks amongst some of the growth rate that we have seen particularly high in the margin of one tier market in the world today.
?The Nigerian Monetary authorities as well as fiscal authorities are doing everything that it could to respond to those vulnerabilities. A lot of models and scenarios have been put in place where we look at some of those actions that the monetary and Fiscal authorities would kick in as we attain various levels in the price of crude.
?I think it is important of me to at least commend the Fiscal authorities in 2014 for instance, as some of these unfortunate events started. The ministry of finance invited the McKenzie group to look at our long haul sources of revenue. In 2014 we have over 75 billion naira in increased non-oil revenue in the country. We are expecting in 2015 this would be ranked up further high to over 1 billion dollars i.e 150 billion naira. Those are some of the activities that have been put in place.?
On the current political situation in the country leading to the general elections, Emefiele said: ?We have seen people responding also as a result of political situations in Nigeria, and all I can say is that the Nigerian Economy remains resilient. In 1993, June 12, we had an election that is adjudged to be the freest and best election ever conducted, unfortunately what happened, happened in 1993 June 12.
?Nigeria has survived. Since then we have had the 1999 election that went on smoothly. We have had 2003 election as well as 2007 and 2011, and naturally we find that before an election happens and of course there must be disagreements one way or the other, but I am very confident that the spirit of Nigeria that sometimes we find as we are approaching such difficult times, we pull back and realise that this is Nigeria and this is one nation and that is the reason why we all need to have faith in Nigeria.?
He was upbeat that the elections would come and go, Nigerian activities would remain the same and the economy would improve.
?So to Nigerians and also our foreign investors and partners who are working with us- Retain and Increase your level of confidence in Nigeria, this economy is resilient and so many things we are doing to diversify the structure of the ?Nigerian economy and in due time we would begin to reap the benefit of these efforts,? he said.