By Omodele Adigun
To help Nigeria tap into the $100 trillion held by institutional investors in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to set up an International Financial Centre at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos, to serve as a hub for attracting domestic and external capital.
According to its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this at the weekend in an address at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Bankers’ Dinner in Lagos, this is part of the apex bank’s plan to set up an investment framework that offers comfort and security to investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of the economy.
He explained that, when fully operational in the secong quarter of next year, the Center would help to position Nigeria as a key destination for investment in Africa.
His words: “A key challenge to supporting growth in key sectors of our economy is access to large pools of cheap investment capital. Today over $100 trillion is held by institutional investors in OECD countries, most of it invested in low yielding assets relative to high yielding opportunities in Nigeria.
Working to tap into this pool of funds will require the set-up of an investment framework that offers comfort and security to investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of our economy. In this regard, the Central Bank of Nigeria is working to set up an International Financial Center at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos, that would serve as a hub for attracting domestic and external capital which is needed to strengthen our post covid economy. The International Finance Centre when fully operational in the 2nd quarter of 2022, will help to position Nigeria as a key destination for investment in Africa.”
As for the economic outlook for next year, he predicted a fall in inflation rate and accretion to the nation’s foreign reserves. He based his forecast on the positive impacts of the various initiatives of the CBN.
He stated:“Inflation rate is expected to moderate to 15.35 per cent, and 14.91 per cent by December 2021 and February 2022, respectively. Core inflation is equally forecast to fall from 13.74 per cent in October 2021 to 13.39 percent in December 2021 and further to 12.68 percent by February 2022, while food inflation falls from 19.57 per cent to 17.26 per cent and 16.58 per cent over the same period. Domestic disinflation is projected on the backdrop of the favourable impact of the various CBN interventions on the real sector and the gradual upscale of economic activity, which is expected to keep prices moderate in the near-term.