The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have x-rayed possible reforms and strategies to revive Nigeria’s economy.
The reforms which were mentioned at the 10th Annual Banking and Finance Conference highlighted possible strategies that could be adopted in driving production of local substitutes for certain imported items in the country, as well as ensuring an efficient payments system in order to continue improving the Nigeria’s financial system at large.
Both the CIBN and the apex bank expressed the belief that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) operating in the country are expected to play some catalytic roles to redirect the economy to path of recovery, growth and development.
The President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, while giving welcoming address at the Annual Conference, with the theme, ‘Innovation in the Financial Services Sector: Driving Nigeria’s New Economy’, disclosed that innovative Financing Structures for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is another area to develop to grow the Nigerian economy.
Although, he noted that the nation has experimented multitude of policies and programmes aimed at supporting this lower end of the economy, but only achieved minimal results.
According to him, this year industry conference theme was crafted to x-ray the roles the sector must play towards a quick recovery of the nation’s economy. “Year 2016 presents a peculiar circumstance occasioned by the dislocations in the national economy as witnessed presently.
“The economic recession Nigeria is going through at the moment is attributable to years of skewed economic structure as manifested in the monolithic nature of government revenue source and foreign exchange earnings”, CIBN boss said.
He pointed out that over exposure to the vulnerability of foreign exchange as a challenge to address, which he said was due to the insatiable appetite for imported consumer durables and non-durables. “The continued pressure on the value of the local currency is a reflection of the untamed high propensity to consume imported items in the face of supply rigidities in the foreign exchange market”, he said.
In a similar vein, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, noted in his speech that there were many innovations that can boost the financial industry, but believed that one of the most gainfully disruptive is innovation in the payment systems space.
He explained that this was one of reasons why the CBN has paid close attention to making sure that Nigeria leap frogs many other countries in that space.
According to the CBN boss, as we have all come to accept, an efficient payments system is pivotal to Nigeria’s financial system in particular, and to engendering sustained economic growth and development in general.
“It is on the basis of this fact that the CBN has been making strides in the payments system sphere, from effective strategic planning, in collaboration with various stakeholders, to positioning the system for the facilitation of commerce, financial inclusion and inclusive economic growth”, he further explained.