The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, has revealed that the Apex Bank has spent over N8.8 trillion to support the economy, since the Covid-19 pandemic begun in the country, Page 36 learnt.
The CBN Governor made the disclosure on Tuesday, in Abuja, at the end of the of the first Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting for 2021.
Reacting to Fitch rating agency’s criticism of the CBN’s credit to the Federal Government, Governor Emefiele stated that it is “very unfortunate that fitch, which is known to be a first-class company and first-class rating agency, will hold such views on what we are doing, and therefore pass judgement regarding the size of credit that the CBN has granted to the Federal Government”.
He defended the Bank’s action, insisting that “the CBN is banker to the government; second, let it be known that the CBN is a lender of last resort, not just to government, but also even to our Banks, when they run into short term liquidity problems”.
Using other countries and the European Union, EU, as examples of entities that extend credits to their governments, Governor Emefiele revealed that “in Nigeria, just 4.5% of the GDP, amounting to about $18 billion (₦6,822,000,000,000)”, was extended as credit to the Federal Government, to address the Covid-19 challenges in the country.
He added that some this money was used to “support measures which included outright purchase of debt by the Central Bank, in order to improve the ability of fiscal authorities to fund recovery efforts”.
His words: “The efforts of the Central Bank are not different, that is the only thing I can say from what is being witnessed in other climes all over the world, as we all share the same objective, considering both conventional and unconventional measures that will support faster economic recovery in light of reduced revenue reset been faced by this fiscal recovery authorities.”
Governor Emefiele pointed out that the balance of N2 trillion, was what the Bank committed to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.