The Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank Godwin Emefiele has assured foreign investors that their investments are safe in the country despite the scarcity of foreign exchange occasioned by the steep drop in crude oil prices.
Mr Emefiele also said that foreign investors will not be prevented from repatriating funds from Nigeria. He said the country had had a similar experience in 2016 and that adequate measures had been put in place to maintain stability in the economy.
The CBN governor said: “In 2015 and 2016, we faced the same situation. What did we do? We called a meeting of the correspondent banks and development partners. We told them that none of them would lose their money in Nigeria and I am happy that we went through that without anybody losing his money in Nigeria. We made sure those that wanted to go were able to take their monies out because things turned around and we also put in place policies that made it possible for them to take their monies out.
“We always like to support an orderly exit, but not an exit where everybody rushes to the door at the same time. If there is a fire in this room and everybody rushes to the door at the same time, I am sure the fatalities would be more than if we all go out through the door in an orderly manner; and that is what we are appealing to everybody.
“If you have Letters of Credit or dollar obligations, we are asking you to be patient. There may be some delay, but I am giving 100 per cent assurance to everybody that they would not lose a cent of their monies if they desire to take their monies out. But we are seeking the patience and understanding of everybody.”
He said that the CBN was working with other agencies, private sector financial institutions and ministries to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s economy.
He said the CBN and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment were committed to propping up the manufacturing sector in order to stabilise the economy.
Mr Emefiele advised entrepreneurs and companies to utilise the numerous intervention funds that the CBN had established to support them during this period.