By Nnamdi Mbawike
The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, disclosed that after five consecutive quarters of negative growth beginning in the first quarter of 2016, a coordinated approach by the fiscal and monetary authorities supported a rebound in the nation’s economy during the second quarter of 2017.
He disclosed this while delivering a Special Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria (UNN), at the Princess Alexandra Hall, Nsukka.
The CBN governor, who was also conferred with honourary doctorate degree of the institution, said the recovery has been driven largely by improved non-oil activities especially in the agriculture sector, which he said, expanded consistently by about 3.5 -4.3 per cent reflecting government’s efforts at diversifying the economy.
“After five consecutive quarters of negative growth beginning in the first quarter of 2016, a coordinated approach by the fiscal and monetary authorities supported a rebound in the nation’s economy during the second quarter of 2017.
“This was nonetheless, reinforced by the pickup in the oil sector as oil prices rallied in 2017. The gradual re-orientation of the economic structure towards the agriculture sector reflects the diversification drive of the government, which was supported by the development finance initiatives of the CBN.
“The recovery has been sustained for seven consecutive quarters. The pace of quarterly GDP growth has improved from .5 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 to 2.38 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018,” he stated.
Emefiele, however, noted that challenges still remain such as ensuring that the pace of GDP growth remains well ahead of our annual population growth at three per cent, adding that this can only be achieved if we continue to support efforts aimed at improving domestic production of goods in Nigeria.
He added that proactive fiscal actions, especially, infrastructure investments were required to enhance economic growth.
The CBN governor further stated that universities have a considerable role to play in working with the private and public sectors in supporting research and development of solutions that can be applied to enhance the growth of the Nigerian economy.