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How our policies spurred economic growth – CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken two approaches to deepen financial intervention in the real sector and boost economic growth.

The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, listed the approaches as de-risking of bank lending to the private sector through a wide-range of credit guarantee schemes, and direct intervention initiatives in key high-impact sectors, including agriculture, micro-small and medium enterprises, manufacturing and power.

According to him, the initiatives are essentially to ensure the flow of credit to the vital sectors of the economy.

Emefiele said the vulnerability of the Nigerian economy to global shocks simply reflected the fact that the nation was unable to sufficiently produce what it consumes, leading to unwarranted dependence on foreign goods.

The CBN governor spoke while receiving The Guardian Economic Personality of the Year award at the weekend in Lagos.

“We depended on oil sector to provide the foreign exchange needed to finance our imports. Related to this is the poor diversification of the economy and low factor productivity in key non-oil sector.

“There is the issue of an ostentatious and elitist taste for imported goods in Nigeria. But, perhaps the most important of these factors is the inadequate finance to strategic high impact and high employment multiplier sectors,” he said.

To mitigate the adverse effects of the global shocks, the CBN embarked on a number of short- term and long-term policies, including monetary tightening to rein in inflation, and external reserves management through the restriction of foreign exchange for the importation of goods that can be produced in Nigeria.

“So far, N393.5 billion has been released to 478 large-scale agricultural projects since inception in 2010. The CBN is also poised to disburse up to N400 billion at nine percent interest rate under the Real Sector Support Facility.

“Under the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, more than 224 projects valued at over N33 billion were guaranteed for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture’s Growth Enhancement Scheme.

“As we speak, domestic rice production has increased many folds and its imports have crashed substantially. While Kebbi State alone is expected to produce over two million metric tons of rice annually, employees at Labana Rice Mills are trying to keep pace with demand, processing 320 tons of rice a day, a 250 percent increase from the previous year.

“Nigerian economy is experiencing a cyclical upswing and consolidating its recovery. There is a fall in headline inflation from a peak of 18.7 percent in January 2017 to 14.3 percent in February 2018. There is stabilisation and convergence of the exchange rate around N360/$ today from about N525/$ in February 2017.

“There is increased foreign exchange supply with over $20 billion inflow to the I&E window since inception in April 2017; strong recovery of the external reserves, which recorded increase from just over $23 billion in October 2016 to over $46.7 billion as of March 29, 2018; and improvement in the World Bank’s ‘doing business’ indicators, with Nigeria progressing by 24 notches.

“Many local manufacturers are reporting major boosts to their revenue and profit. Psaltry International Limited (PIL), an agro-allied manufacturing company based in Oyo State, produces starch. Before the policy, it had a few customers and plenty of backlogged inventory. Today, PIL boasts of over 50 multinational clients, including Nestle and Unilever. The company has saved Nigeria $7 million in foreign exchange drawdown over the two years of the policy,” The CBN governor said.

Meanwhile, the Editor of The Guardian, Abraham Ogbodo, explained at the event why Emefiele was chosen for the Economic Personality of the Year award by the newspaper. He said that the choice of the CBN governor was influenced by his ability to resist Bretton Woods prescriptions, calmness in the face of difficulty, evolving workable alternatives and successfully navigating the “stormy weather.”

According to Ogbodo, the CBN, under Emefiele’s leadership, had to stretch into fiscal responsibilities just to save the day, as more people tend to blame the governor more than the president and any other official for the nation’s economic challenges.

The editor said that Emefiele and his lieutenants maneuvered through the “three troublemakers” – inflation, interest and exchange rates – to the existing level, even though the trio could not be controlled at once.
According to him, confidence could be reposed in the award, which came from a newspaper not known for frivolities and thus it could serve as a collateral for Emefiele even at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for bigger money to further strengthen the economy.

Pointing to Emefiele’s resistance to free market economy posited by foreign investors and their allies, Ogbodo added that even in the West where the concept was invented, it had never existed.

According to him, while advanced economies revel in the use of home-grown policies to solve similar challenges, even when ours is working well, it hardly gets the deserved mention.

He urged the CBN to apply the rules to ensure sanity in the financial system, but it should also not forget to make the investment climate conducive and competitive in the process.

Emefiele said he appreciated in a very special way the management and staff of The Guardian, not just for organising the award, but particularly for the foresight and thoughtfulness at publishing the Financing the Economy.

He said the exposé contained therein would indeed aid an understanding of the uniqueness of our financial structure and illuminate and fill the lacuna that exists between lenders and borrowers of funds.

“It is no news that the level of credit in the domestic economy channelled to productive private sector is critically below the levels required to place our economy on the path of balanced, sustainable, and inclusive growth,” he said.

Guardian

MOVIES

Biodun Stephen’s “Muri and Ko” Leads Nollywood Films At The Box Office

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"Muri and Ko" Leads Nollywood Films At The Box Office | Fab.ng

The Nigerian box office witnessed a power shift this week, with Nollywood’s “Muri and Ko” making a surprising climb to the top. Let’s take a closer look at how these films are performing.

Debuting at number six, “Muri and Ko” defied expectations by surging to the coveted second-place position.

This heartwarming story follows the unexpected turn of events for a thief named Muri. After stealing a car, Muri discovers a child inside. Forced to go on the run from the police with a bounty on his head, an unlikely bond begins to form between Muri and the child.

This unique premise and strong performances seem to resonate with Nigerian audiences, propelling the film to financial success.

Hollywood’s action-comedy juggernaut, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” continues its reign at the top of the box office chart for the third week. This highly anticipated sequel to the popular “Bad Boys” franchise continues to rake in the big bucks. It grossed an impressive ₦100.8 million this week. With a total haul of ₦216.5 million so far, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

After holding the top spot for three consecutive weeks, “Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti,” a biographical drama chronicling the life of the famed Nigerian activist, has been dethroned by “Muri and Ko.”

This week, “Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti” only managed to secure ₦15 million. The movie dropped down to fourth place with a total gross of ₦156.5 million. While it seems to have lost its initial momentum, “Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti” still holds a respectable position at the box office.

The action thriller film, “Criminal,” took a hit this week. It experienced a significant drop in its position on the charts. Falling from fourth place to sixth place, “Criminal” brought in only ₦8.2 million this week. This brings its total gross to ₦45.7 million. The reason behind the film’s decline in popularity could be due to a combination of factors. These factors can be competition from new releases or negative word-of-mouth.

The Nigerian box office is a dynamic landscape, and these rankings can fluctuate from week to week. However, the success of “Muri and Ko” demonstrates the potential for Nollywood films to capture the hearts and wallets of Nigerian audiences. This can happen with captivating stories and strong performances.

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MUSIC

Victony Drops Debut Album “Stubborn”

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Stubborn: Victony Drops Debut Album | Fab.ng

Nigerian artist Victony, known for his global hit “Soweto,” has finally dropped his debut album, “Stubborn.” This highly anticipated release marks a turning point in Victony’s musical journey.

Victony collaborates with a star-studded lineup. This includes Afrobeats giant Asake, Shallipopi, American rapper Teezo Touchdown, and Guyanese-American star Saint Jhn. This impressive roster blends musical styles. Also, it showcases the rich tapestry of African music for the world.

Released on June 21st, 2024, “Stubborn” is more than just music.

The album is a testament to Victony’s resilience. Three years ago, he was in a near-fatal accident that tragically took his best friend’s life. Victony required extensive surgery and rehab to walk again. The title “Stubborn” reflects his unwavering determination to return to music stronger than ever.

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MOVIES

Kanayo O. Kanayo Vows To Disrupt Any Film Set That Engages The Service Of Actress Angel Unigwe

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Kanayo to disrupt any film set that engages Angel Unigwe | Fab.ng

Veteran Nollywood actor Kanayo O. Kanayo is raising a red flag about working with young actress Angel Unigwe. In a recent Instagram video, Kanayo expressed his frustration with Unigwe’s mother, who he believes is managing her daughter’s career unprofessionally.

Kanayo admitted hearing rumours about unprofessional behaviour but didn’t take them seriously until he had a personal experience. He had apparently cast Unigwe in a film and reached an agreement with her mother, the details of which weren’t mentioned. However, the agreement wasn’t honoured, prompting Kanayo’s public warning.

Furthermore, Kanayo urged other movie producers to avoid working with Angel Unigwe.

He went as far as saying he would disrupt filming sets if he saw her working on a production. This is a serious move in the Nollywood industry. Also, it highlights the level of Kanayo’s frustration and his desire to protect other producers from similar experiences.

He stated,

“I am making this video to protect the entertainment industry in Nigeria. A particular woman has been holding producers to ransoms and it is unfortunate it has happened to me. Unfortunately, she is Angel Unigwe’s mother. A contract is breached by every producer, orally or written and it’s all respected but I found out that immediately this woman takes money from you, everything changes. She took her daughter at 9 pm when the particular date that we agreed hadn’t expired. She came at 9 pm and took her daughter.

“I have gotten reports from people before it happened to me. This is a Clarion call to producers, I beg you in the name of professionalism, from this moment to the first day of July 2024 any set that employs the services of Angel Unigwe, I will come to that set and make sure filming doesn’t hold. Her mother has been threatening many producers.”

 

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A post shared by Kanayo O Kanayo (@kanayo.o.kanayo)

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