Home Interview How Nigeria frittered its reserve—-CBN

How Nigeria frittered its reserve—-CBN

by Business News Report

—-Marketers were given N30 per litre margin
—-CBN funded BDC with $66bn in 11 yrs

Nigeria is in recession, the first in a few decades, or one or two decades, things are bad, people are suffering, Mr. Governor, how did we get here?

Thank you, for that question. When you say that people are suffering, I must apologies that this is happening to our people but I must confess that what is happening today is as a result of a world global crisis. Global crisis in the sense that we have seen commodity prices dropping. We have seen geopolitical tensions all around the world, talking about political tensions between Russia and Ukraine; with the US and the EU staying on one side and watching; political tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, trying to play their games as usual. And of course, the US Fed, following the mortgage crisis of 2009 has taken a couple of actions, given the size of the US economy in the world, some of the actions that the US economy has taken has had certain impact both positive or negative on emerging market and frontier market where Nigeria unfortunately stands today.
But I think when you want to address the issue of how Nigeria got here, it is important for us to go back into history. Go back into history to begin to tell ourselves or remind ourselves that there was a time that in this country, it survived only on revenue from agricultural produce we survived with produce from groundnuts pyramids in the Northern part of Nigeria.
There was a time, we lived in this country and we survived from revenues from Western part of the country where Cocoa was exported to the extent that the tallest building at that time, the cocoa house was built with the revenues from the export of cocoa, there was a time when this country survived with revenues that the country generated from export of palm oil and palm oil products in Nigeria, from the South East and South West of the country, am talking about the 50’s and the 60’s. Nigeria was the largest producer and exporter of palm produce in the world. Unfortunately, we abandoned it because we found oil, I wish what we did at that time was to ensure that we held strong to our potentials in the agricultural sector. If we had held strong to our potentials in the agricultural sector, in the same vein held strong to the potentials that we found oil, Nigeria’s story will be different today.
What happened was that because we found oil, we let our guards down on the agricultural sector and I will give you an example, this for me is a case of a country that unfortunately didn’t plan properly, example is a country like Norway, Norway is a country with a population of less than 5 million people, Norway produces agricultural produce, particularly, fish. They produce and exports fish and also produce crude oil to the extent that today, Norway is the country that has one of the highest investments in Sovereign Wealth Fund. Norway indeed has $873 billion in its Sovereign Wealth Fund, Norway also take very seriously the produce from fish production to the extent that the country survives on annual bases from revenue that is generated from the export of fish. What does the country do with revenue from crude, it invests it and anytime the country is about to use those funds, they only use it for infrastructural development. That is a country that has planned for its people, but unfortunately, Nigeria did not plan this way for its people and that is why we are where we are today.
I will give you an example. In September, 2008, Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood at $62 billion, what did we do with $62 billion at a time crude oil price was $120 per barrel? What did Nigeria do? What it could have done is safe the money, if it could not save the money, invests it in infrastructure; in industries, that would have created productivity and the wealth for Nigerians.
But what did we do? I will give you an example. In CBN at that time, it went about licensing class a, class b, class c Bureaux de Change. For class a bureaux de change, CBN was allocating $1 million per week , for class b Bureaux de Change, CBN was allocating $750,000 per week, and for class c Bureau de Change, CBN was allocating $500,000 per week to each bureau de change, to the extent that between 2005, when CBN, amongst the very few central banks in the world that was allocating dollar cash for what I will call operations of Bureaux de Change and when it was stopped in January 2016, CBN had disbursed $66 billion to fund cash operations of Bureaux de Change in Nigeria. What that meant is that in 11 years, we spent $66 billion for bureau de change operations, which came to an average of $6 billion in a year, if we had taught of other ways to have utilized our reserves, in 2008, when it was as high as $62 billion, certainly, we will not be where we are, we had a situation where at that time, me, as MD of Zenith bank, there is a deputy governor of CBN that will call to quarrel with me to say why am I not coming to CBN to collect dollar cash to sell to bureau de change, I was called to be queried. Even in Kano, Portharcourt some people where calling to say that Zenith bank was not selling dollar cash to bureau de change, but of course, the bank didn’t see any serious need to disburse dollar cash to bureau de change at that time. That was what we did with our part of our $62 billion. Now I go further, between 2009 or 10, and 2014, of course, you remember that 2009 was when the crisis started with lever brothers collapse and all that, America pumped a lot of money into its economy, and as a result of that, some of those funds flew into emerging market , including Nigeria. At that time again, Nigeria removed all forms of capital control to encourage the flow of capitulate into Nigeria, so what happened during that time, was for five straight years, we saw crude prices above $105 per barrel on the average for five straight years, for that period, we also saw unhindered flow of capital into emerging market into Nigeria, we should have at that time, built our reserves, what did we do with our reserves at that time? Those were part of the situation that resulted to were we are at today.
Now I want to take us back a little, in January, 2014, the country’s reserves stood at $40.6 billion at that time when the reserve was at $40.6 billion, crude price was about $110 per barrel, sometime around 2013, say about august, September, the country was generating from crude oil export on a monthly bases average of about $3.2 billion, by June 2014, when I took over as the governor of central bank, reserve has dropped to $37 billion and at that time, crude price was about $108 per barrel, at that time, receipts from FX crude sales had dropped to just about $1.7 billion monthly, soon after that, we saw the crisis all over again and between that august, September 2014 up to this time, which is almost close to about two years, we have seen consistent drop in the price of crude oil to the extend that by March 2015, our reserves had dropped to $31 billion, at that time, crude price would have dropped to about $48 per barrel and at that time, the country’s receipt from export of crude had dropped $1.3 billion at the same time, the demand for foreign exchange, the demand for import had remained high, you liken it to a situation where you have a man who has three children, on a monthly bases, he use to earn N10 thousand when things were good and how did he distribute the N10,000, he gave each of his children N500 for their upkeep, of course he had N2,500 for himself, unfortunately, when things became bad like we are now, his salary had dropped from 10 thousand to just 2,500, but unfortunately, the three children still wanted to collect the N2,500 for their monthly stipend, so how will daddy survive? Or fend for the family, all he needs to do is to think about the couple of actions, either to work harder to earn more money or increase supply or ask the children what they were doing with N2,500 monthly when things were good because things are no longer the way it use to be, so you begin to ask what you were really spending on before, were you using it for frivolities, the dad will begin to ask how the money was spent, that is the situation we find ourselves today. And when this happened, we started by saying that there was a need for an adjustment in the currency, we adjusted the currency from 155 that it was to 168 sometime around November 2014, as if that was not enough, our friends kept saying that the currency was over valued, and we asked a few of our friends, we said, if you feel the currency was over valued, what did you think it should be at? Some said 180 will be fine, some said 190 will be fine and by March, we said just to satisfy them, so the supply can come, we adjusted again to 147, we went back and said, we are at 147, is there a way that they can come back and begin to see business as usual, they said well, sorry we are still not convinced that fundamentals don’t look right so for that reason we are not coming until you continue to adjust and we felt we could not continue an indeterminate adjustment of the currency, of course, they were not happy with us, but we held faith to the fact that we felt that N197 to the dollar was adequate and appropriate at that time, of course, we held faith, and after that time we began to say what were the items that we were importing? And we went into a demand management and we say for now, lets leave the exchange the way it is and lets begin to look at the items that we were consuming and I will give you some perspectives, 2005, Nigeria’s import bill, was only about N70 naira, by 2015, Nigeria’s import bill has risen to about N790 billion naira, what were we consuming? We needed to be sure of what we were consuming at the time when we didn’t have the foreign currency are these things that can be produced in Nigeria today, and of course, in the mist of this, we found that importation of petroleum products was taking over 30 per cent of our import, importation of items like rice, like fish, like sugar, like tomatoes, like toothpick and the rest of them were close to about 10 to 15 per cent and we felt like that if there was an opportunity for us to cut the demands for theses items, then we should be able to see demand at a level where it could be close to supply for us to have an appropriate price for the currency and let us how we went into diversification, let us grow our rice in Nigeria, and again, I will give you an example, I was on my way abroad on an official trip, I met a gentle man who’s company produces aluminum cans and he said, mr. governor, this time when there is no foreign exchange, we need to look at aluminum cans, there are some of our companies who import aluminum cans for beers and for soft drinks and he said we can produce aluminum cans in Nigeria, that was an opportunity, we had to put aluminum cans in the list of our items when we were developing the list, and you will not believe me, today, because we put efex restriction on aluminum importation for drinks, that company’s turnover has risen ten folds.
I met another company who said his business was into the production of starch and glucose and he said, Governor, thank you for restricting FX for the importation of starch and glucose, I said thank you but why are you saying this, he said, before the FX restriction, we will go to those companies that import starch and glucose, please we produce starch and glucose in Nigeria, come and patronize us, and they said okay when our stocks are down, we

You have told us there is improvement in foreign exchange inflow, in what other areas can you say there is improvement, prices of commodity are still up, manufacturers are still saying they have no access to raw materials,

Let me say this, I must confess that I was not that optimistic that the flows were going to come initially but what we have seen in three months closed to a billion dollars I feel confident that if we steer the course, the way we are going managing the foreign exchange so as to encourage foreign investors and also those who have foreign currencies to bring to bring them in to support our economy, I am very sure there will be more flows of foreign exchange into the system and more and more people we have foreign exchange available for industry to improve their capacity the rate may look high now there is the possibility that as we see more inflow the rate will come down. I am optimistic this will happen. In the short run What other things are we doing, I have talked about foreign exchange inflow, i have talked about the fiscal authority effort to stimulate the economy, stimulate consumption demand/expenditure. What you find when consumption is stimulated, the demand for food, demand for goods will go up and if this demand for food and goods goes up and is matched by improvement in industrial capacity and productivity, then you will see the activity.
That is why I am confident that the situation will change and the economy will turn around the corner very soon. Naturally, we need more revenue to come in we need more naira, more dollars and you will recall that April 2014 before the government came on board, at the end of April 2014 I had taken an interview with Financial Times of London, during that interview I opined that there was need for government to consider the sell down of some of its in oil and gas and the LNNG, and at that time around May price was around 50-55 and we actually commission some consultants that conducted a study and at the end of that study they said if we sold between 15 to 20 per cent of our holding in oil and gas sector we could realise between 30 to 50 billion dollars. Unfortunately the market has gotten soften down and if we still want to do that I am optimistic that we could still get between 15 to 20 million dollars. if we have that kind of liquidity it will make it easier for us to be able to stimulate the spending and also to turn the country around.
That proposal I am sure is still on the table, because I have also heard after I made that recommendation, a couple of colleagues in the cabinet have talked about it, I am optimistic that if we take that option we will realise the inflow of foreign currencies that we can really use to kick start and stimulate the economy. Do not forget that even in the US, in 2009 when the mortgage crisis started, in one blow the US government stimulated the economy with 900 billion dollars , subsequently during the period of quantitative easing 85 billion dollars was being injected into the economy on a monthly basis, the same thing is happening today in Japan and in Europe. The difference between those situation and Nigeria is that those other countries have low rate of inflation intact they have negative interest rate, they have very very low inflation rate. stimulating such an economy even if it pushes inflation up, it will not be too bad to the point where it will begin to adversely affect prices, that is why we are kin such a delicate position of pushing growth to see how to get out of recession and at the same time trying to tame inflation so that it does not go too high to a point where it becomes injurious to Nigerians

I am interested in the recovery process from the recession,we talked about spending and government intention to bring about a bill for shortening procurement process, what came to my mind is the absence of board of MDAs, does it worry you that the absence of these key key officers can hinder the kind of spending you are talking about?

Unfortunately I do not agree with you because we have cabinet members, these agencies of government are headed by minister and we have people who are working in acting capacity, there are other people who are working in these agencies as executive directors and executive management, I do know and I am aware that once we are able to shorten the procurement process not having chief executive in these agencies will not hamper operation or spending or procurement process in these agencies.

Alignment with monetary policy, increasing spending and government revenue drive with various taxation, how do you reconcile this with monitory policy to lessen the burden on Nigerians?

Let me also assure you that both the monetary and fiscal authorities are working to gather that is why you could see the situation we are in today even where we have revenue shortages or deficit that the monetary authority is saying we can give you a bridge go ahead and spend when you get the foreign loans in or when your revenue improves you can repay the bridge we have offered you just for you to stimulate spending, that is a classical case of collaboration between the monetary and fiscal authority. Now you talk about increasing taxes, I know that there had been lot of proposals presented to the federal government that for instance the Value Added Tax, VAT should go up an d truly speaking I must confess that the tax rate or VAT in Nigeria is among the lowest in the World, inspire of that government very very reluctant to increase the VAT rate just because it really understand the sufferings and yearnings of the people. But what government knows and you and I know is that there are so many people are side tracking and avoiding the payment of VAT and the government is looking for ways on its own to widen the tax net so as to capture more people to pay their taxes. That is what I am aware the government is doing but not at this time to be pushing for VAT rate.

You said our problem was mainly because of shock of oil price crises, what we have not heard from government and CBN is admission that there were some internal issues, the delaying in taking the structural adjustment that may have slow down the process of this recession, these adjustment are being poorly implemented, take fuel for instance government is concerned about its impart on the people but with the current exchange rate, if that adjustment is not made the price of fuel may go up and the same people we are trying to help, secondly if you are saying that you want to stimulate spending would you not have asked the President to reconsider the issue of TSA, that is a lot of money being sterilise in the CBN, such amount could be used to reflate the economy?

First I will take the issue of TSA, the TSA as far as I am concern is a programme that several government in the past had attempted to try to implement but did not I use the word unfortunately the will to implement it. now and I give you an example is it fair that government allows its ministry or its agencies to release its money to the banks and those banks do not pay anything as interest to government or at best if they pay, they pay about one or two per cent but at the same time when government wants to borrow money, by selling treasury bills, government still goes back to these banks and these banks, the same liquidity that the federal government gave to them through the ministries, these banks pass back this liquidity back to government at 12 or 13 per cent. That is a colossal waste of resources on the part of the government so when people say oh, because TSA is sitting in the CBN that it is what is causing the crunch it is not true. When government was going to withdraw the TSA, the CBN monetary policy committee also looked for its own way to release some money into the system, through the cash reserve ratio CRR that was held, I do not agree that the TSA is a major issue.
Secondly, delay in taking action on the structural adjustment, again it is unfair to blame this government for not taking decision on structural adjustment and I will tell you this, normally, when you have an adjustment in currency, world wide, those adjustment must be followed by structural reforms. Just as you heard the President talk about in 1984, the currency was one to three, after that we went into SAP, it was meant to go with a lot of structural adjustment, or reforms, but when the crude price started to improve, every body stopped structural reforms, that was why we could not effectively diversify the economy. there was a government that came at that time and said Green revolution, there was a government that said every body go to the farm but immediately crude prices went up, every body abandon green revolution and the call to go back to the farm. That is what we are seeing now, yes an adjustment is going on, adjustment in currency has happened, there is also need for us to ensure we follow through the structural reforms that would lead to diversifying the economy. How for instance we are lucky that we have somebody who has decided to invest in refinery, 650,000 barrels per day, we are lucky the same person has decided to invest in petrol chemical, we are lucky that the same person has invested in fertiliser these three projects are gulping nothing less than $11billion and these three products, petroleum products, refineries, petrochemical and fertiliser, gulp nothing less than 35 to 40 per cent of our import bills. What happens between 2017 and 2018 when we stop the importation of these products. You will will be able to conserve our reserves because the demand for these product importation will reduce. really what does it take to produce these items, to produce fertilisers you need only gas. to produce polypoprotane granules what you need is gas, to produce petrol all you need is crude oil, what you need is to import the plant as the plant start operating you have no other cost except local cost for these items. What I am saying here is that the current structural adjustment will work.
After that the government is pushing aggressively that we must diversify the economy, that we must begin to see to it that item that we can produce within the country that we are currently importing that we must product it in Nigeria and that is why government continue to support the restriction on foreign exchange on 41 items, items like rice, fish, tomatoes or toothpick. I have told the successes we have obtained. Really to be honest for the first time in my life I have just seen toothpick that is produced in Nigeria, I was given a pack of it by the Vice President on Wednesday. It is produced in Sango Otta and what do it take to produce toothpick, bamboo. The machine you need to produce took pick is less than $15,000 to buy. the machine requires small space, a room. That is what we are saying we must embrace structural reforms to the extent that you must tell yourself that you have learnt a lesson by the fact that there was a recessecion, there was a global crisis where your revenue dropped, you went with that revenue drop into a valley and through structural reforms and adjustment, and may be in the future revenue from crude also grow, You adopt a strategy where by the time there is another recession because financial crisis, they come in season the come and they go so by the time the next one is coming you will not go with it to the valley. You will be standing either, at the level you were or you will be going up rather than going with it into the valley. Those are the kind of things we are talking about.
You also talked about the issue of petrol prices. let me address this, petrol pricing is something the country and its citizenry have taken very passionately, I think Nigerians love Mr. President and that is why despite the increase in petrol prices the Nigerian populace gave the President a chance to say wen will accept this, why, you will find out that because of shortage of foreign exchange because marketers could not access foreign exchange they stopped importing the product. NNPC was saddled entirely with the responsibility, of importing petroleum products but of course it became so bad that we began to see queues that became embarrassing to our citizens and of course to the point in different part of the country instead of sell or buy fuel at N86, people were buying fuel at different prices some at N150, some N200 in different part of the country. People began to agitate to say listen if I could buy at N150, 200, just make the fuel available. That led to a situation where government said fine, if that is truly the situation we need to have the fuel available in all the stations so people can move around and conduct their businesses and that is why the increase in the pump price of fuel from N86 to N145 because the marketers felt that at that rate it should be possible for them to source foreign exchange at a price not more than N200-300 to the dollar. I think the flip side of it we all citizens did not think about is that unfortunately invited into our economy astronomical level of inflation.
Let me give you an example because of the rise in petrol price from N86 to N145 that almost 80 per cent increase in price, imagine a wholesaler who buys tomatoes from Gigawa or Zamfara he puts it in a truck, by the increase in petrol price it means that the transporter has no choice but to increase his transportation fare by 80 per cent that tomatoes get transported from Zamfara to mile 12 market in Lagos, He land there, the retailers buys from him plus 80 per cent, that is the second leg of 80 per cent in price. The retailers gets to Katu bus stop, takes a taxi who adds another 80 per cent price hike to the cost to Obalende, the tomatoes gets to Obalende, the woman begins to retail it, when you and I or if you own a restaurants the lady also increase the price by 80 per cent, the fourth increase, the restaurant used the tomatoes to cook, the plate of rice laced with meat that you buy also goes up by 80 per cent what does this means you increase, a transmission mechanism of five times increases because of the adjustment in petrol price. That is what you find that the impact in price have been so colossal on Nigerians and government is trying to see how to moderate the impact. Inspire of this government spends, the monetary authority will look for its own way to inject liquidity so that what has gone up through the exchange rate if manufacturers can get foreign exchange through moderated interest rate to improve industrial capacity it will help to moderate prices such that the adverse impact on exchange rate does hit too hard where you are having adverse exchange rate and interest rate on prices. This is the kind of thing we are doing, it is a delicate balance and Nigerians must give credit to the monetary and fiscal authorities for what they are doing to ensure that the impact is reduced and that the economy turn round the corner as quickly as possible.

The two issues that TSA and petrol spoken about, we see an impending crisis can you fully put it to bed. Those who talk about TSA are not against the concept, TSA was meant to deal with so many doors through which money was going out, reduce it to one door for money to come out, the money seem not to be coming out, we want you to tell the nation about the operation of TSA,
Secondly tell the nation how the government intend to avert the impending fuel crisis or if the crisis comes it will deal with it.

I come again to the petrol crisis, I am telling you that the price of petrol will not be reviewed based on, the arrangement the CBN and the NNPC have currency in place to see to it that dollar is available to the importers of petroleum products and I am telling you that, what is that arrangement at this time, all the International Oil companies IOC have been directed based on the agreement between CBN and NNPC that they should channel their dollars, oil companies and servicing companies selling their foreign currencies can not go directly to begin to auction their money, they should channel their dollars through a mechanism created and operated between the CBN and NNPC where that dollar is made available to marketers to import petrol. At the time this programme started, the marketers were told that you can procure your foreign exchange at no more than N280 to the dollar and your price should not be more than N145 per litre. But in working out the price of N145 per litre, the template provided for nothing less than N30 per litre margin for the marketers. That template is available. By making N30 per litre available, what that does even if the marketer does not find the product at N280 but finds it at N300, N305 or even N310, that marketer will still make profit even though at a reduced margin. That is the template that is currently in place and I am optimistic that it will work. The arrangement that is being managed by CBN and NNPC we will see to it that even the IOCs are not compelled to sell at a fixed rate but that they will sell at an average of interbank rate of the previous day so even today where the margin some are selling at N305, N310. N315, the average, the average can not be more than between N305 and N310. I am saying if a marketer procure foreign exchange at an average between N305 and N310 he will still make profit by selling at N145 per litre that is my argument.

Then the subsidy has moved from naira to dollar then

No it has not moved as such but what I am saying is that if the marketer buys the foreign exchange at N280, N305 or N310 that marketer will still make his money that is what we are saying. There is no need for a marketer to contemplate price increase.

You talked about providing a bridge fund, what figure are you looking at in the short term to stimulate the economy, secondly you talked of the advice for government to sell some of its investment in oil and gas sector, just yesterday Alhaji Dangote made the same call on government in order to raise money, it would appear the government is not listening to the advice and if so is Nigeria not going back the same way?

on the issue of the bridge funding what I am saying is this government is determined to stimulate the economy, by spending at least to fund its budget and we said the monetary authority has told the fiscal authority if the need arises because of the reduction in revenue we will provide. we are not there yet, I imagine that should not bother you other than the government has said it will stimulate the economy by spending its way out of recession. That is why the minister talked about the fact that N470 billion has been injected into the economy and that this week another N370 to N400 billion will be made available. so we see how this kicks in. The important thing is that we need to stimulate the economy and the fiscal authority is alive to its responsibility to achieve this objective.
On the issue of the sale of asset that government is not looking at the advise, I think it is unfair because you are not with the government. You may just be hearing rumour that government is not listening but it is unfair for any one to make those conclusions. Like I said that option is on the table for as long as it remain credible. In any case, the issue is this, I imagine that it will be looked at and you know in government that are those that oppose and those in favour. The argument for the sale of asset has gained some credence recently and to the extent that we are optimistic that this will happen. If those against say because the market is very soft and for that reason you may not realise much money from it, government is already looking at the possibility of a buy back option where yes, you sell now and get the money and sign agreement that if the market improves and government has enough capacity to buy back at some premium then government can buy back the assets. So these opportunities are there. I am sure with these explanations the arguments for sale of assets has gained prominence and will achieve its objective.

You talked about inflow of $1 billion is it not hot money that will leave with any slightest problem in the economy? You want to stimulate an economy with a high rate of interest that investors/industrialist can not access loans how do you achieve this?
Policy inconsistency, take the BDC question, they were banned but the policy was reversed midway. How do you get out of this?

I start from the BDC side, CBN is not inconsistent, I will tell you how. Yes CBN as at January 2016 was the only Central Bank in the world selling cash to Bureaux de Change. We felt with the haermorage on reserve at this time it needed to stop. At the time we said it that we were stopping we said, go and read my speech, we said CBN will seek to open other windows were BDC can continue to do their business. By us seeing that diaspora money coming in through Western Union and other International Money Transfer Organisation, that a substantial part of it should for now go to fund the BDC is not a reversal. That is certainly not a reversal. What we did was that it only took us about six months to eventually come up to say let us look this Western Union window as a way to channel the funds coming in. In any case we are being told that $20 billion comes in annually in diaspora remittances and we began to say we need to find this diaspora money. If some portion of this money comes in we might as well channel a little of it to meet the need of our retail cash citizens who wants $5000 cash and below for BTA, PTA and a few medical bills. It is by no means a reversal but in consonance with what we said when we contemplated that CBMN was no longer going to push cash into the market.
Now the flow of about $1 billion is it not hot money, you see the template that we designed is one where we also said we introduce future. What future does, is that it encourages more and more of them and of course they will have maturity profile, we are in the valley now, if despite that we are in the valley you put in place a document that provide for a single exchange rate mechanism, a document that reduces the volatility that it pushes demand that would have come into the top to the future under this window, because that document is seen to be a credible document they are coming at the time when you are in the valley I do not think it can be worse than where it is right now.
You will find a situation where naturally there will be maturity of those investment. As more are coming in matured ones are going out. If at the time they are going out and others are coming in if the net effect is negative we take from our reserves to plug it but if the effect is positive it goes to boost the reserve. That is the way it works and I repeat if we are at the valley and they are coming I think what will happen is that we come out of the valley.

You said the situation has bottom out, when will you say this recession will be over?

Let me repeat myself we are already in the valley the only direction for us to go is go up the hill. Government is doing every thing possible to ensure we move up the hill as quickly as possible. I am optimistic that with the action being taken by government, the monetary and fiscal authority, by the result of the fourth quarter Nigerians will see the the economy has started to move up the hills, out of recession. I repeat, the worse is over, the Nigerian economy is on the part of recovery and growth. Trust me if you are standing as a bystander, you are losing by being a bystander. Join the train now before the bus leaves the bus station.

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