The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has urged Nigerians to support the production and consumption of locally made products, as the country may not have foreign exchange to support some activities in the future.
Emefiele disclosed this at the 2019 Annual Bankers’ Dinner in Lagos on Friday.
The apex bank governor while speaking on the topic, ‘Strong sustainable growth for the Nigerian Economy’, said, Nigerians must henceforth, support measures that will drive domestic productivity and diversify our export base.
“We should encourage Nigerians to consume goods that can be produced in Nigeria, knowing full well that a time will come when we may not have the foreign exchange to aid such activities, if we continue to rely on earnings from the export of crude oil,” he said.
He noted that it was possible to envision a productive Nigerian economy not reliant on crude oil exports, adding that the country at some point had an economy that supported productive activities, which created multiple streams of earnings for the nation.
He recalled that in the 60s, Nigeria’s economy was heavily reliant on agriculture, with increased cultivation and exports of primary products such as cocoa, palm oil, cotton, and groundnut.
“The agricultural sector in 1961 represented close to 70 per cent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product, and generated close to 70 percent of our export earnings.
“It was the principal source of employment, as over 85 percent of Nigerians lived in rural communities. These agricultural products also supported the food needs of our nation and provided raw materials for emerging industries,” Emefiele said.
He noted that the revenues generated from the export of these products helped to fund the infrastructure and human capital needs of the various regions.
You may recall that the Federal Government, in what it described as an effort to imbibe the ‘Eat What We Consume’ attribute in Nigerians, in August 2019, banned forex for importers of milk and dairy products.
Other items that have been denied forex include, but are not limited to, Rice, Margarine, Vegetables, Palm oil products, Bagged cement, Meat, Fruit Juice, and Cakes.