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Design Policies to Complement Banking Reforms — CBN Tells FG

Design Policies to Complement Banking Reforms — CBN Tells FG

The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Monday, called on the Federal Government to bring up policies that will act as “complimentary reforms” to address the issue of inequality, corruption, unemployment and insecurity in the country.

The Acting Governor of the apex bank, Dr Sarah Alade, stated this in Abuja while speaking at the first National Seminar on banking, finance and allied matters for legislators.

The seminar, with the theme: ‘The legislature and the banking and finance sector: partnering for Nigeria’s economic growth and development’, was organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

Alade said there was the need for government to come up with policies to address the issue of inequality and unemployment in order to complement the success so far recorded in some of the reforms carried out by the apex bank.

For instance, she said while some of the reforms had yielded results that had impacted positively on the economic and financial environment, the lack of basic amenities, inadequate infrastructures, high rate of fraud, corruption and youth restiveness had constituted hindrances to these growth prospects.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Mr Suleiman Barau, she said there was the need to focus on diversifying the economy away from being oil dependent to agro and industrial based economy.

She said: “The successes achieved over the years could not have been possible without the right legal framework.

“However, to consolidate the gains so far made in the financial sector reforms processes and arrest the challenges, there would be the need for other complementary reforms to address the rising incidence of poverty and growing unemployment rate, insecurity of life and property, lack of basic amenities and inadequate infrastructure, high rate of fraud and corruption, youth restiveness and other social vices which constitute hindrances to our growth prospects.”

On the plan by the National Assembly to tinker with the CBN Act by removing its autonomy, Alade said such move would only make the bank to be reactive rather than being proactive in the discharge of its mandate.

She said rather than remove the autonomy, the law should be strengthened to enable the bank enjoy full independence as currently being done in the global environment.

Also speaking at the event, the CIBN President and Chairman of Council, Dr Segun Aina, said the seminar was held to provide a forum for lawmakers, regulators and operators in the banking sector to brainstorm on issues that would help contribute to the stability of the banking sector.

He said since the banking sector in Nigeria believed so much in synergy with legislature, there was the need to synchronise the relationship into achieving great benefits to the Nigerian people.

Senate President, David Mark, who also spoke at the event, said while the reforms in the banking sector had been able to reposition the sector for greater responsibilities, more needed to be done to achieve inclusive growth.

For instance, he said a situation where banks declared huge profits while the sectors they were supposed to finance were suffering under what he described as “harsh and unbearable terms” must be addressed.

Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Planning, Senator Barnabas Gemade, he said: “In recent times, we have embarked on reforms that are geared towards all round stability and efficiency in the banking sector with the firm belief that this will also fast-track development in other sectors of the economy especially in agriculture, telecommunications and Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises.

“A lot has been said in financial sector reforms, but much needs to be done to arrive at the desired destination.

“A situation whereby the massive returns on investments remain the priority of the banking industry while small scale and medium industries struggle for survival under the harsh and unbearable terms handled by banks must be addressed.”

Source: Nigerian Tribune

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