CBN Parleys NESG, OPS On Strategies For Enhancing Financial System, Grow Economy

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has hosted a dialogue between the Organised Private Sector (OPS) groups and the Bank’s leadership with a view to exploring strategies for enhancing Nigeria’s financial sector and by implication achieving improved performance of the nation’s economy.

The meeting, which was held at the Bank’s Lagos office on Wednesday, focused on exploring how broad-based monetary policy communication and guidance can positively influence the global investment community’s perception of Nigeria and on determining the right bundle of monetary policies and interventions to increase the productive sector’s growth.

In addressing the need for improving monetary policy communication and guidance to positively influence the global CFO and investing community’s perception of Nigeria, the CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, emphasised the importance of private sector input in shaping economic policy.

He explained: “The private sector is a critical engine of our economy. This meeting underscores our commitment to working collaboratively with stakeholders to create a more robust and investor-friendly financial environment.”

Stakeholders at the meeting also pledged to establish a framework for collaboration and consistent interactions with the top leadership of the OPS to harmonise economic policy and guarantee the CBN’s effective support of the private sector in partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

During the parley, the CBN governor presented a detailed explanation of the economy’s trajectory, highlighting the deceleration of month-on-month inflation and expectations of moderation, and assured the bank would continue improving monetary policy communication through forward guidance to domestic and global investors.

Also, Cardoso assured the private sector leaders of their commitment to building trust, ensuring price stability, and implementing monetary policies to support economic growth, improve stability in foreign exchange rates, and effectively moderate inflation. He assured them that despite current drawbacks, the Bank had consistently improved FX supply while protecting the interests of all parties. In addition, he stressed the importance of restoring confidence and trust in the Nigerian economy for all investors, local and foreign.

In addition, he noted that the policy measures deployed by the CBN aimed to build a transparent economy that will boost investors’ confidence and improve the country’s business environment.

The CBN presented a detailed explanation of the economy’s trajectory, the reasons behind the recent aggressive Monetary Policy Rate hikes, and the expected transmission timeline into the economy. It also highlighted the deceleration of month-on-month inflation and expectations of moderation in headline inflation going into the third and fourth quarters of 2024.

In his remarks, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Otunba Francis Meshioye, appreciated the CBN’s open dialogue and interest in ensuring the manufacturing industry and other organised private sectors are abreast of CBN policies.

The industrialist maintained that the OPS was concerned about how the price verification system is currently operated and, in agreement with the CBN, will provide the CBN with specific details about the concerns and suggestions for implementable improvements to the system.

During the discussions, other OPS leaders expressed concerns about the elevated impact of macroeconomic risks on business costs across various industries. They noted that while structured development finance support may not directly increase cash supply, it enhances the capacity of the productive sector to manage risks such as exchange rate volatility.

This is even as they harped on the importance of the role of the apex bank in catalysing trade and development finance support through traditional institutions.

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