NESG, CBN Collaborate to Host Dialogue with Private Sector Leaders

Posted Fri, Jun 21, 2024 3:42 PM

NESG, CBN Collaborate to Host Dialogue with Private Sector Leaders

L-R Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ms. Emem Usoro; Governor, CBN, Mr Yemi Cardoso; Deputy Governor, Economic Policy Directorate, CBN, Mr Muhammad Sani Abdullahi and Chairman, Board of Directors, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Niyi Yusuf, at the CBN dialogue session organized in collaboration with the NESG and private sector business leaders in Lagos on Wednesday

As part of our initiatives to foster meaningful interactions between public-sector policymakers and private-sector business leaders, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria convened a dialogue with private sector business leaders on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. This gathering brought together business leaders from the Organised Private Sector (OPS), NESG community, and the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), led by its Governor, Mr. Yemi Cardoso.

The focus of the meeting was to explore strategies for enhancing Nigeria’s financial sector. Discussions centered on improving monetary policy communication and guidance to positively influence the global CFO and investing community's perception of Nigeria.

Key attendees included: Mr. Yemi Cardoso, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi, Deputy Governor, Economic Policy Directorate, CBN; Ms. Emem Usoro, Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate, CBN; Mr. Niyi Yusuf, NESG Chairman; Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, NESG Vice Chairman II and Group Managing Director, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc; Mr. Olukunle Alake, Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited; Mr. Lanre Akinbo, Managing Director, Wizer Advisory Ltd; Otunba Francis Meshioye, President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Rev. Isaac Agoye, Vice President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Dr. Chinyere Almona, Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI); Chief Dele Oye, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), among other notable private sector business leaders.

During the discussions, private sector leaders expressed concerns about the elevated impact of macroeconomic risks on business costs channels 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. They emphasised the importance of the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria in catalysing trade and development finance support through traditional institutions. They also expressed concerns with the recent monetary policy tightening.

In the first quarter of 2024, exchange rate fluctuations affected different sectors unevenly, with significant impacts on economic linkages. In addition, monetary policy needs to be strongly supported by fiscal policy, with clear official short or medium-term economic plan and strategy. The private sector leaders called for proactive tariff-related exchange rate incentives to encourage local input substitution and backward integration.

The Central Bank of Nigeria assured the private sector leaders of its commitment to build trust, ensure price stability and effect monetary policies to further prevent economic instability and improve stability in foreign exchange rates and inflation. It assured the OPS that despite various constraints and drawbacks, they have consistently improved FX supply, while protecting interests of all Nigerians. In addition, the Central Bank of Nigeria stressed the importance of restoring investors’  confidence and trust in the Nigerian economy and noted recent positive signals from independent channels including the World Bank, various credit rating agencies, and fund portfolio investors.

Additionally, the OPS called for improved national credit design and development, addressing the inefficiencies in credit administration as well as a review of the microfinance sector alongside the right mix of fiscal and monetary policies to boost productive sector growth. To mitigate macroeconomic risks affecting business costs, stakeholders also suggested micro-prudential reforms with other regulators to transform finance into expansive productive output.

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