Economic Recovery Growth Plan: Osinbajo Seeks Banking Sector’s Support

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday urged the banking sector to support the country’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) to enable it achieve 7 per cent annual growth forecast by 2020, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Osinbajo made the call at the 22nd World Conference of Banking Institutes (WCBI) hosted by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos –with the theme: “Rethink the future of Banking and Finance and Life Long Learning.’’

The Vice President, who commended the industry for supporting national development in many ways, said the industry must overcome funding challenges for the government to achieve its aims.

Osinbajo said the industry must also support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to achieve inclusive growth.

“The banking industry has been able to provide job opportunities to many Nigerians, among others.

“We expect the sector to support our EGRP to enable it achieve sustainable and inclusive growth of core 7 per cent annual growth by 2020.

“The banks must focus on how to overcome the present fund supply constrains and support Small and Medium Enterprises to succeed,” Osinbajo said.

The Vice President, who was represented by Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, the Special Adviser on Economic Matters, said government had implemented some policies to diversify the economy.

He said they included investment in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and SMEs.

Osinbajo said the Federal Government was aware that the success of these reforms depended on good infrastructure hence the building of more rail networks in the country.

“The Bank of Industry (BOI) and Bank of Agriculture (BOA) have also been repositioned by recapitalization to support the priorities of the sectors,’’ he said.

He said that the Federal Government had been able to achieve 31 reforms in the last 60 days.

The President of CIBN, Prof. Olusegun Ajibola commended banking institutes from all over the world for giving Nigeria the right to host the 22nd WCBI.

He said CIBN had also received support from local and international stakeholders like the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, money deposit banks, traditional rulers, among others.

He disclosed that the CIBN had collaborated with Risk Management Association of Nigeria to run certificate courses in risk management and had so far produced 142 students since its inception in April 2016.

According to him, the theme of the conference is germane for banks because the future of the banking sector remains speculative.

“There is general consensus that a number of factors will continue to disrupt some already established banking processes.

“ For instance, in the 2015 survey conducted for banks by The Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), identified 13 critical points that would shake the banking sector by 2020.

“Some of these include increase competitions from non-traditional competitors, increase specializations, ICT innovations, among others.

“So, there is need for inquisitive and learning approach for the job,’’ he said.

He also urged tertiary institutions to revisit their curriculums on the teaching of banking and finance to meet the future needs of banking.

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu , advised the Federal Government to empower undergraduates with start-up loans for small businesses to stop them from searching for federal jobs.

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