Amidst numerous conflicting policy positions and decisions of two major managers of the Nigerian economy, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the duo have dismissed reports of lack of coordination between them.
Since the nation plunged into economic recession, the two officials have differed on various points; ranging from the duration of the recession, the way(s) to rescue the nation, whether or not to increase interest rates, amongst others. This has prompted suggestions of disharmony and lack of coordination between the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance, both of whom are said to hold the keys in getting the country’s economy out of the doldrums.
At a press briefing in Washington D.C, Adeosun and Emefiele stated that they were working together with the singular objective of improving the economy.
According to Adeosun, “just because the monetary policy committee finds themselves in a situation where they are looking at their indicators like inflation and money supply among others, they make their decisions based on that and that is always respected.”
“I don’t see a disharmony but blown out of proportion. I am not a member of the committee and I don’t see what they do. We are all working together with one objective, which is to get the economy growing,” she added.
On his part, Emefiele noted that “I feel it is important for me to also join the honourable minister to confirm that there is no disharmony, we are all working together and I believe that in due course, we would achieve the growth that we badly desire for the country.”
He clarified his stance (as well as that of the Monetary Policy Committee) on the issue of interest rates saying, “If you read my vision statement just about three days after I assumed office, one of the core issues that I raise at that conference was that we would try to pursue a low interest rate regime. We feel that when people are able to access loans at low interest rates, it helps improve growth, reduce unemployment, boost industrial capacity and the rest.”
“Of course, I’m trying to say it is something that eventually we would have to look at, but based on the numbers that the monetary policy committee saw – based on the data that was available – the MPC felt we can pursue growth through another angle. It has nothing to do with disharmony,” he stressed.