From Uche Usim, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday, urged banking and finance operatives to collaborate towards making Nigeria one of the leading economies of the world.
He stated this in Abuja at the 14th Banking and Finance Conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), themed: Economic Recovery, Inclusion and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance.
President Buhari commended the Nigerian financial services industry for working assiduously to achieve financial inclusion targets and fostering economic growth of the country.
He urged speakers at the event to share insight that would help reposition Nigeria economically and otherwise.
He described the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic as a game changer that altered the way of life across the globe, urging financial experts and other key stakeholders in the country to latch on to the opportunities provided by ICT to drive growth.
He hailed current economic rejuvenation efforts by various umpires and called for the tempo to be sustained.
In his remarks, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and chief host, Mr Godwin Emefiele, stated that CIBN has been a strong supporter of CBN’s policies and programmes.
He described the theme of the conference as apt, given the unprecedented events of 2020, especially when considered along the measures put in place by policy makers to reverse a significant downturn in economic activities last year. He revealed that the CBN would, in the next 12 months, establish the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC) to consolidate the growth and resilience of Nigerian banks in the last decade. He said the NIFC would act as an international gateway for capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.
“This new financial hub, will curate local and international banks to make them global champions. The NIFC will be a 24/7 Financial centre that will complement London, New York and Singapore financial centers and enable an acceleration of our home grown initiatives such as the Infracorp Plc, the N15 trillion infrastructure fund which we will be launching in October 2021.
“The NIFC will also complement our initiatives on the Nigerian Commodity exchange and the National Theatre creative hubs for our youths as well as the E-naira project which will also debut in October 2021.