President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed criticisms of the monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, saying the governor, Godwin Emefiele, puts people at the heart of policies. In an interview with Bloomberg, the President highlighted various steps taken by his administration to address the multi-faceted challenges facing the country, saying the country would have been worse off but for policies, such as the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which has helped to boost agricultural production.
Dismissing concerns over the independence of the CBN, following the interest of Emefiele in running for the presidency, Buhari said the accusations were generated by the unorthodox economic policies of the CBN, adding that only the board of the apex bank can decide whether a CBN governor’s actions had fallen foul of the laws to ensure he could most effectively carry out his duties.
“The CBN governor is appointed by the President. But this appointment is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Senate. Ultimately, it will be for the CBN’s board of directors to determine whether a CBN governor’s actions have fallen foul of the laws in place to ensure he can most effectively carry out his duties. .But there is a sub-text to the accusations. Because the governor follows a model outside of the economic orthodoxy, he is labelled political. But the orthodoxy has proved wrong time and again,”he said.
“Instead, the governor is following an alternative economic model that puts people at the heart of policy. Nigeria should be free to choose its development model and how to construct our economy so it functions for Nigerians.”
On performance in office thus far, the President said: ‘’We leave Nigeria in a far better place than we found it. Corruption is less hidden for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear, while money is returned; terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth.’’