President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday underscored the need for the harmonisation of monetary and fiscal policies to enhance inclusive economic growth.
Buhari, who spoke while declaring open a symposium for Association of African Central Banks (AACB) governors in Abuja, said “we fully understand that monetary policy alone is not sufficient to bring about desired economic growth. We must carefully balance monetary and fiscal policy measures.
“For us in Nigeria, while recognising the challenges we are confronted with and the need to surmount them, we are determined to diversify the economy away from excessive reliance on oil and other primary products.”
The president noted that the theme of the symposium: ‘Unwinding Unconventional Monetary Policies: Implications for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability in Africa,’ covers contemporary issues and is of special relevance to us in Africa and corresponds with a period when African economies are confronted with a number of growing and sometimes extraneous challenges that constitute threats to growth and the stability of our financial systems.
He expressed confidence that the governors will come up with practical ways by which Africa can chart a way forward for the growth and development of Africa.
“The region is confronted with several global and domestic economic challenges. Most worrisome is the slowdown in growth; weakening global demand; rising inflation; restrictions in capital flows; rising debt levels; increased exchange rate volatility and depleting external reserves.
“Those of us who rely on only natural resources such as Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, and Mozambique have been hit the hardest.
“We have also had to contend with the effect of the Ebola Virus Disease, which struck some countries in the West-African Sub-region.
“Furthermore, China, a major trade and business partner to a number of African countries is currently slowing down as it remodels its economy, sparking fears of further weakening.
“Faced with these challenges, African Central Banks have been at their best in keeping African economies afloat through proactive and effective combination of conventional and innovative monetary policies,” Buhari stated while urging the conferees to continue to look for original home-grown solutions, not to rely on “fit for all purposes” prescriptions handed down from abroad.”
Also speaking earlier, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, underpinned the theme of the symposium considering the prominent space it has occupied in the discourse among the central banks with escalation of financial crisis in 2008.