African Central Bank Governors urged to curb illicit cash flow

Ben Adam Shemang, Abuja

The 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of African Central Banks has opened in Abuja with a call on these experts to intensify surveillance and give guidance to the operations of financial institutions to reverse the trend of illicit flows of funds out of Africa.

While declaring it open, the Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari said that African Central Banks have been at their best in keeping African economies afloat through proactive and effective combination of conventional and innovative monetary policies

As these financial experts meet, president Buhari has a great expectation from them “I sincerely hope that this year’s event would generate discussions and provide viable policy options that would assist to resolve the numerous economic challenges facing the continent”.

 He also charged them to come up with practical ways to chart a way forward for the growth and development of Africa.

“The continent is confronted with several global and domestic economic challenges. Most worrisome is the slowdown in growth; weakening global demand; rising inflation; restrictions in capital flows; rising debt levels; increased exchange rate volatility and depleting external reserves”, he said.

President Buhari said that the African countries that rely on only natural resources such as Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, and Mozambique have been hit the hardest.

He urged the African Central bank Governors to continue to look for original home-grown solutions, not to rely on what he calls “fit for all purposes” prescriptions handed down from abroad.

President Buhari disclosed that “the Central Bank of Nigeria has for many years spearheaded economic stimulus measures through specific intervention programmes. I think these measures should be sustained through good times and through difficult times”.

He said Nigeria fully understands that monetary policy alone is not sufficient to bring about desired economic growth.

He said his government is determined to diversify the economy away from excessive reliance on oil and other primary products, “consequently, we are taking measures and implementing policies that would ensure we are self-sufficient, generate massive employment for millions of our youth, and explore our untapped human and natural resources”, he said.

President Buhari assured the guests that Nigeria would also embark on export and production diversification steps including investment in infrastructure; promotion of manufacturing through agro-based industries and expansion of Regional Trade.