By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria has disclosed that the N15trn Infrastructure Fund which will boost funding for capital projects when it is launched in October 2021.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele stated this in Abuja at the 14 Annual banking and finance conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
The CBN Governor said that Nigerian banks have become not only strong and resilient, but have also carved a good niche in the world.
To help build the growth of the sector, the governor said in the next 1 year, the CBN will be establishing the Nigerian International Financial Centre.
The NIFC, according to him will act as an international gateway for Capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.
He said the NIFC will be an all round Financial centre that will complement London, New York and Singapore financial centers and enable an acceleration of Nigeria’s home grown initiatives such as the Infracorp Plc.
The NIFC, he noted, will also complement the CBN’s 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.
Emefiele explained further that the NIFC will take advantage of existing laws such as the BOFIA 2020, NEPZA and other CBN regulations to create a fully global investment and financial hub where monies, ideas, and technology will move freely without hindrance.
On digital connectivity, he said robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria.
Reflective of the confidence in the country’s payment system, he said between 2015 and 2020, close to $500m worth of funds have been invested in firms run by Nigerian founders.
Nigeria is set to join a very small elite group of countries operating an international financial hub.
The international financial centre will take in September 2022 when the Central Bank of Nigeria will establish The Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC).
Emefiele revealed that “the NIFC will act as an international gateway for Capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure”.
This new financial hub, he said, “will curate local and international banks to make them global champions”.
When operational, “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”.
NIFC will complement such initiatives such as the Infracorp plc, the N15 Trillion infrastructure fund which we will be launching in October 2021, the National Theatre creative hubs for youths as well as the E-naira project which will also debut in October 2021.
Emefiele also stated that the apex bank’s efforts to strengthen the Loan to Deposit ratio policy has resulted in a significant rise in loans provided by financial institutions to banking customers.
Earlier in his address, the President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Dr. Bayo Olugbemi said the conference aims to dissect numerous issues and generate sustainable solutions.
“We also aim to x-ray issues surrounding digital transformation and how such innovative solutions can be leveraged to generate sustainable African businesses, an inclusive financial ecosystem, and economic growth. Essentially, our aim over the next two days is to drive discussions that will lead to very clear and actionable solutions for impact.
“As mentioned earlier, we have carefully selected over 25 resource persons, some of the greatest minds across the globe who would be sharing their thoughts, insights, and experiences on the various subjects.
“Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, it is imperative to stress that we are not simply holding a talk shop which would be long forgotten after it is held. At the end of the event, a Communique would be presented inclusive of all recommendations, actionable steps based on the conversations from the various sessions.
“Let me assert as usual, that we take this very seriously and the outcome document would be disseminated to all stakeholders, policymakers, and participants,” he added.