(From Emmanuel Afonne, NAN)

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has reiterated the need for the country to discontinue with heavy dependence on crude oil to guarantee public revenue and foreign exchange.

Emefiele made the call on Saturday in Abuja at the prize presentation ceremony to mark the end of the 2020 CBN Governor’s Golf Cup tournament.

The governor, who was represented by Mr Edward Adamu, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, CBN, therefore, urged the country to harness its other economic potentials to enhance its growth.

According to him, this has become even more imperative to facilitate the early exit of the economy from the current recession.

According to him, sports cannot be left behind while deploying available tools to ensure the development of the country since it attracts foreign exchange.

This, he said, had propelled the CBN into sponsoring numerous sporting events in the country including golf.

He said that the apex bank would not relent in its effort to empower the youth, sportsmen and sportswomen as they had constantly launched the country and themselves into the international sporting arena.

“The Bank’s consistency in promoting the game of golf and other sports in the country has had a remarkable impact on youths and sportsmen and women generally.

“In particular, the sponsored events have continued to provide platforms for Nigerians to express themselves and launch into the international sporting sphere.

“At the CBN, we are committed to sustaining people-centred policies,” he said.

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According to him, through interventions in various sectors of the economy, the Bank is able to touch lives and livelihoods; specifically, the Bank’s policies prioritise jobs, wealth creation and inclusion.

“The CBN has been in the vanguard of promoting youth empowerment not only through sporting events but also through development finance initiatives and schemes.

“These include the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Scheme, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Development Centres.

“Others are the Agri-Business and Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme and the Private Sector-led Accelerated Agricultural Credit Scheme.

According to Emefiele, the bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) has a tremendous effect on agriculture, impacting greatly on local production of various crops, most significantly rice and nine other crops.

He noted that the ABP had significantly contributed in cutting down rice importation in the country, while the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme recorded considerable beneficiaries who have greatly contributed to the nation’s drive for sustained food security.

“I urge Nigerians to take advantage of these initiatives to contribute to the country’s growth and development and share in her prosperity,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the one-day golf tournament saw winners emerged from various categories of the tournament including the CBN Staff category which O. Owoeye won with a handicap of 28 and gross net of 116 and 88.

Abubakar Abdullahi emerged as the runner up with a handicap of 11, gross score of 97 and 86 net.

Winners also emerged from the Auxiliary, Veteran Ladies, Veteran men and CBN Pensioners categories.