As the country graples with its newest recession, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has assured the citizenry that the sustained implementation of fiscal and monetary interventions would pull the nation out of the doldrums next quarter.
According to him, Nigerian economy could emerge from the recession by the first quarter of 2021, adding “with the sustained implementation of our intervention measures, we also expect that growth in 2021 would attain 2 per cent due to high frequency data that indicates continued improvements in the non-oil sector of our economy.”
Emefiele, who expressed his optimmism at the 55th Annual Bankers Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos at the weekend, solicited the cooperation of stakeholders in the banking and finance sector to achieve this. He fashioned out the routes expected to be taken by the stakeholders in his address at the event.
He stated: “The banking sector has a significant role to play as a facilitator of growth in the agriculture sector, through its intermediation function. Some of the opportunities in the agriculture sector that banks should explore include ways to address some of the existing gaps in the agriculture value chains, such as storage centers, transport logistics, and technology platforms, that can enable rural farmers sell their produce directly to the markets.
“These measures would help to improve productivity of farmers, reduce post-harvest losses, increase access to finance for farmers and improve sourcing of local raw materials for processing by manufacturing and industrial firms. It will also aid improved production of local goods, enable the creation of jobs, while supporting the growth of other sectors of our economy such as manufacturing, and transportation.
“Information Communication Technology (ICT) is another sector which has emerged as a significant source of resilience in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. In the third quarter of 2020, the ICT sector made contributions of over 17.8 per cent to GDP growth, 47 per cent higher than its contributions a year earlier. The growth of startups in the fintech and health care space rose in response to the pandemic.
“It is important that we leverage ICT as an enabler for growth in key sectors of the economy. It is important that the banking sector consider viable IT firms in these areas that have the potential to, serve the needs of the local market .”