The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has urged Nigerians to patronize goods that are made in the country, saying the preference for foreign goods was negatively affecting the economy in terms of exchange rate, unemployment, among other unpalatable indices.
The Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, who spoke on Thursday during the commencement of a two-day virtual CBN Fair for stakeholders in Bayelsa and Rivers States with the theme, “Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development”, said the penchant for consumption of foreign goods to the detriment of locally made goods had remained a challenge to the growth of the country’s economy.
He was represented at the event by the Head of Internal Communications, Samuel Okogbue.
Addressing the Yenagoa and Port Harcourt audiences, he said, “It is as a result of what we produce and consume. In Nigeria, we consume foreign goods, foreign foods, foreign everything.
“A woman is proud to tell her neighbour, ‘I’m cooking Uncle Ben’s rice’. As you cook your Uncle Ben’s rice note it that it is as a result of that, that your child that came out of the university in the last seven years has not got employment.”
He explained that the essence of the forum was not only to enlighten the stakeholders on the policies and programmes of the CBN “but to think with you about our economy” in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to improve the situation.
“This economy belongs to all of us. We should do something. When our Governor (of CBN) resumed, he made a vow that he would like to operate a Central Bank that is people-oriented…a bank that should touch the people. CBN that will identify with what the people are doing; their agriculture, trade and whatever it is in order to grow the Nigerian economy; that the people will benefit from the proceeds of that growth by way of creating employment, obtaining loans to upgrade their businesses or operate their farms, making them know that the commercials banks can treat them better”, he stated.
In their goodwill messages, the branch controllers of CBN in Port Harcourt and Yenagoa, Maxwell Okafor and Francis Asuquo, said the CBN was assisting the Federal Government to carry out programmes.
They noted that the CBN was a critical stakeholder in economic development and seeks to collaborate with other stakeholders to contribute to the Federal Government’s efforts towards achieving a diversified and prosperous economy.
The CBN officials implored the stakeholders to take advantage of the bank’s initiatives which are aimed at bringing about success in business, financially literate society, employment creation, poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth.
They listed some of the CBN initiatives to include payment systems, consumer protection, financial inclusion, clean naira note policy, agricultural financial initiatives, real sector interventions and eNaira, among others.