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Okonjo-Iweala assures Nigerians of tight monetary policies

21 February 2014, 06:56

Abuja - The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Thursday said the government's tight monetary policies would continue despite suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Okonjo-Iweala, who disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, said since the announcement of the suspension of  Sanusi by President Goodluck Jonathan, the naira had become unstable.

“Since the news broke on the suspension of the CBN governor, there has been a concern in the market which is not unusual.

“I want to use this opportunity to assure market participants of the resolute attention this government will be paying to the economy.

“We will maintain tight fiscal policies; we expect a continuation of the tight monetary policies that have been known at the CBN.

“The naira has fluctuated and depreciated a bit this morning, but with the announcement that government will continue to tighten its monetary policies, I am hopeful that the naira will stabilise," she said.

Okonjo-Iweala said she was confident in the ability of the new Acting CBN Governor, Dr Sarah Alade, who was formerly the bank's Deputy Governor for policy.

She said Alade had played a role in drafting the policies, which Sanusi had been implementing.

“At the moment, the economy is in a good shape, inflation is still at a single digit of about eight percent and our external reserves are still regarded as healthy by IMF at 41.4 billion dollars.

``Fiscal deficit remains tight at 1.9 percent of the GDP and of course, a current account surplus.

“All these are hallmarks of a stable economy," she said.

-        NAN

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