Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been conferred with the 2017 Forbes Best of Africa Innovative Banking Award by the Forbes Magazine.
Presenting the award to Emefiele at a dinner held at the Willard InterContinental, Washington DC on the sidelines of the ongoing annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on October 12, Mark Furlong, President of Forbes Customs Emerging Markets, said the award was in recognition of Emefiele’s courage and determination in using monetary policy to ensure financial stability in Nigeria.
According to him, the CBN under Emefiele has helped to stabilise the Nigerian economy just as it makes huge interventions in the real sector. He particularly cited the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) of the Bank as a major boost to the development of the Nigerian agricultural sector.
Emefiele, who was elated by the award, attributed the honour to the collective efforts of the management and staff of the CBN, the Federal Government of Nigeria and Nigerians who stood by the Bank. He used the occasion to highlight some of the efforts of the CBN under his leadership since 2014 to stabilise the financial system and maintain the international value of the naira, the Nigerian currency.
He noted that the CBN had to tackle inflation head-on to check the negative effects of several global shocks that had hit Nigeria between 2014 and 2016.
Emefiele equally took time out to thank foreign investors who have shown confidence in the Nigerian economy, urging the larger foreign investor community to invest in Nigeria. Emefiele noted that the Nigerian market remains the largest in Africa and is replete with investment opportunities. “Nigeria has a lot of potential. The environment is good; the climate is good. Nigerians are hospitable and good people. Nigeria is good for business,” Emefiele said.
The epoch-making event was attended by many distinguished personalities, including Hassan Hassan, Acting Nigerian Ambassador to the United States; Dr Okwu Joseph Nnanna, CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability; Florizelle Liser, President/CEO, Corporate Council on Africa; Robin Sanders, a former Ambassador of the US to Nigeria; Oluyemi Dipeolu, Chief Economic Adviser to the Nigerian President and Patience Oniha, Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO). Also present were CEOs of some Nigerian commercial banks and members of the foreign investment community.