Tuesday, July 19, 2016 11:14 pm
The Senate on Tuesday said it was optimistic that Nigeria would get out of the recession, which it was currently experiencing.
The Deputy Spokesperson of the Senate, Ben Bruce, said this while briefing newsmen shortly after a two-hour close-door session between the senators and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Bruce said that Emefiele’s appearance was in line with Section 8 of CBN Act, 2007, which required that he should provide periodic updates to the National Assembly on activities of the bank and performance of the economy.
He said that the governor presented a comprehensive account of the performance of the Nigerian economy in the last one year.
According to him, Emefiele’s presentation began with current global economic conditions, which has been characterised by external shocks, including sharp decline in commodity prices among other things.
He also said that Emefiele disclosed that the current challenge in the country was due partly to over 70 per cent decline in oil prices from about 116 dollars per barrel in June, 2014 to about 30 dollars per barrel earlier in 2016.
“We were impressed with his presentation. He explained to us about the difficulties we have on commodity prices, drop in oil prices and decline in growth for two quarters in a roll.
“This means officially that we are in a recession and we need to spend our way out of the recession, and hopefully, that is what is going to happen.
“We are optimistic that the economy will get better. Tomorrow, we are going to have the Minister of Finance; she will explain to us what percentage of the budget we have implemented and so forth,’’ he said.
Explaining why the CBN governor was not allowed to make his presentation during plenary, Bruce said “some information become too explosive if it is in the public domain.
“I think you have to understand the confidentiality of some information but what the governor kept emphasising was to start buying Nigerian products.
“We need to stop importing. We are in the mess already and everybody is part of it but to solve this problem, we need to buy made-in-Nigeria goods,’’ he said.
He also disclosed that part of issues handled in the closed-door session was the altercation between Sen. Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi West) and Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos Central).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the CBN governor and Finance Minister were on May 25, asked to appear at the senate to brief it on the monetary and fiscal policies for salvaging the economy. (NAN)