CBN Concerned About Slowing Growth

Nigeria's central bank will retain foreign currency controls because of concerns about slowing growth, a senior bank official said on Wednesday as the nation awaited a new cabinet.

President Muhammadu Buhari submitted the list of his nominees for cabinet posts to the Senate for approval on Wednesday, but the names were not immediately made public.

According to Reuters, foreign investors had criticised Buhari for failing to appoint ministers since he took office on May 29, leaving the central bank to deal alone with a hammering of the oil-dependent economy.

Buhari will address the nation on Thursday, the presidency said, without giving details.

Since his inauguration, a fall in vital oil revenues has eroded public finances, weakening the national currency and driving up the cost of food imports.

Growth was 2.35 pct in the second quarter year on year, compared with 6.54 in the same quarter of 2014.

"We are concerned that we are having declining growth," Moses Tule, the central bank's monetary policy director, told reporters.

He defended the bank's decision to impose currency controls to preserve foreign reserves, which fell 23 percent in the year to Sept. 23, central bank data showed.

"We have to protect the nation before we protect businesses," Tule told a conference in Lagos where he came under fire from executives complaining the dollar controls were hurting their businesses.