President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has charged African Central Banks to look inwards in developing monetary solutions to tackle the continent’s economic challenges.
The president said this while declaring open the annual Assembly of Governors of the Association of African Central Banks held in Abuja on Thursday with the theme: ‘Unwinding Unconventional Monetary Policies and Financial stability in Africa.’’.
According to him, prescriptions from the West tagged: “fit for all purposes” will not solve Africa’s economic and financial challenges.
“I am confident that you will come up with practical ways by which we can chart a way forward for the growth and development of Africa.
“The region is confronted with several global and domestic economic challenges.
“Most worrisome is the slowdown in growth; weakening global demand; rising inflation; restrictions in capital flows; rising debt levels; increased exchange rate volatility and depleting external reserves.
“Those of us who rely on only natural resources such as Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, and Mozambique have been hit the hardest.
“Furthermore, China, a major trade and business partner to a number of African countries is currently slowing down as it remodels its economy, sparking fears of further weakening.
“I urge you to continue to look for original home-grown solutions, not to rely on “fit for all purposes” prescriptions handed down from abroad.
“The world is a dynamic place and with innovation, we can survive.’’
President Buhari noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria had for many years spearheaded economic stimulus measures through specific intervention programmes.
He maintained that these measures should be sustained at all costs, while urging the participants to strike a balance between monetary and fiscal policy measures.
He said, “monetary policy alone is not sufficient to bring about desired economic growth.’’
President Buhari reiterated his administration’s determination to diversify the economy so as to surmount the challenges facing the country.
President Buhari also advised that African leaders should reverse the trend of illicit flows of funds out of Africa through intensified surveillance in addition to guidance to the operations of their various financial institutions.
“We should all be serious in putting place measures aimed at ensuring that the proceeds of these illicit flows are repatriated to their countries of origin with minimal bureaucratic hitches.
In his remarks, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele assured that the Association would redouble its efforts towards the achievement of a sustainable economic and monetary integration in Africa.
He stressed the need for African Central Banks to be strengthened so as to serve as a platform for galvanising efforts that will solve emerging challenges on the continent.
Also speaking, the President, Association of African Central Banks, Mr Lucas Nchama, called for proactive policies that will address the negative effects of the fall in prices of major commodities on the economies of African countries.
More than 45 governors of Central Banks and the representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Africa Union were in attendance.