BY NKECHI NAECHE ESEZOBOR ––The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it is targeting a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth up to 2.38 per cent in the fourth quarter(Q4) of 2019.
Hassan Mahmoud, the Deputy Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department in CBN, said this in Yola at the 2019 workshop for financial journalists sponsored by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
Speaking while presenting his paper titiled: “State of the Nigerian Economy & Implications for the Stability of the Banking System”, that the GDP growth target would be an improvement over the third quarter growth rate of 2.28 per cent.
“If you are looking at the 1.1 per cent that we did in 2015/2016, and 2.28 per cent that we did in the third quarter of 2019, we will see that we have really moved substantially.
“It is difficult to sustain positive rate GDP growth rates that we are projecting that by the fourth quarter of 2019. We are going to be doing 2.38 per cent, that is CBN projection, the IMF is projecting same growth of 3.31 per cent.
On the wide gap between lending and saving rates in banks, he said that was dependent on customers’ negotiation skills.
He, however, said that it was the duty of CBN and NDIC to ensure that customers were not ripped off by the excesses of banks. According to him, CBN is, however, creating ways to discourage the trend.
He also said that the yield rates on treasury bills had dropped to as low as eight per cent of recent.
Speaking on pension funds, he said the stock had increased to about nine trillion Naira of which the bulk could be invested in non-risky assets.