Buhari Commends CBN For Financial System Stability

PRESIDENT  Muhammadu Buhari has applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for effectively ensuring financial system stability in the country over the years.

Buhari Commends CBN

President Buhari made the commendation yesterday at the 15th Annual Banking & Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Theme: Repositioning the Financial Services Industry for an Evolving Glocal Context” holding in Abuja.

This is as chairman, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc  (UBN) Farouk Gumel has said Nigerian banks must invest in modernising agriculture, helping it to be more resilient, more dynamic and better able to adapt for the banking sector to favourably compete in the evolving global context. Modernisation means much more than technology alone. It is also about farming techniques.

Represented by the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Mr Buhari assured the entire banking and finance community that his administration will continue to support the industry in all appropriate ways to ensure the sector continues to deliver on its mandates while creating value innovation for its customers.

Buhari acknowledged that CBN’s interventions, especially in the agricultural sector has helped to put the nation’s agricultural sector on a global map.

Also, chairman of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc Mr Farouk Gumel in his keynote address said the country has begun an agricultural renaissance over the past seven years.

Under the Godwin Emefiele-led CBN, Nigeria now has some 70 rice mills, compared to only a handful at the start of 2015. The same goes for fertiliser plants. “We now have around 50. They are thriving businesses that serve our farmers,” Mr Gumel said, adding, “Ask anyone who manufactures sacks. They will explain the growth they are seeing in demand.”

Gumel said understanding the importance of farms and small businesses for growth is by no means new for Nigerian banks.

He urged operators in the Nigerian banking sector to devote more funding to agriculture financing to be able to compete with their global counterparts.

“If we are to make the most of the opportunities that Glocal offers in an increasingly uncertain world, we need to see greater coordination between monetary, trade and fiscal policy. One would think that is a local request,” Gumel said.

Gumel said to reposition the industry for a ‘Glocal context’, “we need also to look more inwards,” saying repositioning is not an option. It is a necessity

Nigerian has begun an agricultural renaissance over the past seven years.

truly Glocal, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urbanglobal clients.

Of course, he agreed that the local players must keep an eye on what global happenings to stay in tune with international best practices, while asking that local/rural farmers should never be forgotten.

Gumel underscored the need to localise global best practices – and, equally, for a global presence in an exciting emerging local market as Nigeria.

Gumel said Nigeria’s financial services and tech sectors are attracting unprecedented interest from Silicon Valley. “We can be proud of having more unicorns than any other African country,” he said. Nigerian fintech start-ups are setting the pace for the continent and indeed, the world.

He said 55 percent of Nigeria’s 64 million adult unbanked population is “a missed opportunity for our financial services industry to help create the growth that lifts us all to collective prosperity.”

To encourage financial inclusion drive, Gumel urged CIBN to publish a study that shows the fastest growing retail banks or the most trusted bank brand across Nigeria. “Those unbanked Nigerians are not only potential savers and borrowers. With our help, these are the entrepreneurs and founders of the businesses of the future.”

Gumel said as the industry players hail their role as champions and strive to retain position as industry leaders on a world stage, it is at their peril that the lose sight of the local element of what it means to be Glocal, a word for thinking global and acting local.

Acknowledging that there has never been a more pressing need for a more holistic approach to economic management and effective delivery of financial services, Mr Gumel said business and government must both play their part. “The most critical capacity we need to build is our human capacity. Our industry needs smart, agile and creative thinkers to keep up with this changing glocal context,” he stated.

President/chairman of council for CIBN Dr. Ken Opara said the financial services industry need to adapt to much faster pace of change in advancement in technology and innovation, saying services, products, and technologies that were new and useful in the past will not necessarily be so soon.

Dr Opara said advancement in technology and innovation is bringing about another wave of revolution that will change the landscape of the financial services sector more than ever.