In his inaugural address, the Central Bank of Nigerian governor also noted that the bank would provide funds at concessionary rates to targeted investments in the power sector.
“We will support investments in renewable energy in rural areas through matching funds schemes, and providing first loss guarantees,” CBN governor Godwin Emefiele said.
Emefiele lamented the imports costs straining the oil sector saying his department would help in domesticating production resources that would help among others with jobs creation.
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“Although Nigeria produces millions of barrels of crude oil per day, the importation of refined petroleum products alone consumes about 35 per cent of our annual import bill,” he said.
“The CBN will support efforts at domesticating our oil and gas resources to ensure that much more of these resources are produced and used here in Nigeria.”
Emefiele posited that these efforts will stimulate inclusive growth, create jobs and reduce the pressure on the exchange rate occasioned by demand for imports of finished petroleum products.
Ayo Teriba, chief executive officer at Economic Associates concurred with the governor’s move meant to arrest the rising unemployment.
“The central banks to now focus on address the big picture and try to pursue the objective of ensuring that growth is stable and also that unemployment falls,” he said in response to Emefiele’s speech.
The governor also promised to enact watertight policies that will help arrest theft in the sector.
“We will play an active role in working with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and other stakeholders to secure a win-win outcome for the sector,” he said.
“To reduce the losses (theft and leakages) in the amount of produced crude that is officially sold, we will support initiatives to meter at ports and secure pipelines.”
Emefiele promised to support the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources by looking at investment incentives in refining and promoting investment in the construction of much needed gas pipelines.
According to the data by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the oil and gas sector accounts for about 35 per cent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product, and petroleum exports revenue accounts for about 70 per cent of total exports revenue.