Speaking in Abuja on Thursday, Emefiele said the bank’s foreign exchange policy is in the interest of the masses.
“In the midst of low oil prices, heavily depleted reserves, what can we do? We can only but manage the limited resources and that is why we will continue to do our best,” Emefiele said.
“Our priority today would be Nigerian masses, Nigerians and no other person. Within the limited resources at our disposal, we will continue to give emphasis to those who want to import raw materials.
“We will give emphasis to those who want to deploy plants and equipment that will help this country.
“We will direct support and emphasis to those who are going into agriculture, who are importing agricultural raw materials and implements because we love our country”.
Meanwhile Atedo Peterside, chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Cadbury Nigeria Plc, said the policies of the apex bank was to “shoot ourselves in the foot”.
“The directive to banks to allocate 60% of forex to manufacturers who account for only 10% of GDP has exacerbated an already bad supply situation.,” Peterside said.
“Forty percent is much too small to accommodate the rest of the economy and so all other sectors have been crippled, including the service sector, which accounts for over 50% of GDP.
“This has unleashed panic, thereby sending the parallel market to the high heavens. Forex inflows disappeared partly because of the uncertainty surrounding the ability to repatriate interest/dividends through an overly restrictive 40% window.”