The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Proposed Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

CBN Policy

Like all major experiences that happen with life, lessons are learnt, approaches are changed, behaviours are shaped and plans are made. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19” or “The Pandemic”) is no different as it has evoked deep thoughts and taught lessons which will continue to impact our livelihood going forward. The daily loss of lives and decline in global economic activities can be seen from all angles. The sharp movement of countries of the world from multilateralism to protecting their economies and citizens shows that every country should strive towards attaining self-sufficiency and maximizing upscale opportunities created by their comparative advantage and global positioning.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (‘CBN’), Godwin I. Emefiele CON (“the Governor”) in a policy direction statement recently published, and titled “Turning the COVID-19 Tragedy into an Opportunity for a New Nigeria” (the ‘Policy Statement’)2 highlighted some of the key impacts of the pandemic on the global and Nigerian economy, and the key proposed policies to be implemented by the CBN in response to the Pandemic. One of the key problems noted by the Governor is Nigeria’s huge reliance on imports which has over the years had deepening impacts on the country’s foreign exchange earnings. The Governor also mentioned the dramatic decline in the global price of crude oil to USD 17 as at April 2020, the loss of global airline revenue by about USD252 Billion, global food insecurity and export restrictions by countries on critical agricultural produce and medical supplies, and the prediction of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the global world economy would decline by 3 percent (%) this year 2020.

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