The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to establish the Nigerian International Financial Centre(NIFC) in the next 12 months.
Disclosing this Tuesday in an address to the banking community at the 14th Annual Banking & Finance Conference, organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the NIFC will act as an international gateway for Capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure
He said, “To consolidate on the growth and resilience of Nigerian banks in the last decade, your excellency, your Central Bank, will, in the next 12 months, be establishing The Nigerian International Financial Centre, NIFC.
“The NIFC will act as an international gateway for Capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.
“This new financial hub, will curate local and international banks to make them global champions.
“The NIFC will be a 24/7 financial centre that will complement London, New York and Singapore financial centres.
“It will enable an acceleration of our home grown initiatives such as the Infracorp Plc, the N15 trillion infrastructure fund which we will be launching in October.
“The NIFC will also complement our initiatives on the Nigerian Commodity Exchange.”
Recalling the steps taking to prevent the economic crisis from spilling into a financial crisis, Emefiele said CBN worked to protect the interest of depositors by ensuring that banks made adequate capital provisions to cover for unexpected losses.
“We also enabled banks to restructure loans granted to individuals and businesses significantly affected by the pandemic. Our banks also demonstrated exceptional resilience by putting in place business continuity plans, along with the deployment of digital channels, which ensured that the provision of financial services to customers was not disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Speaking further, he said, “We are delighted that these measures have paid off. Indeed, key indicators in the banking sector continue to reflect that our banking sector remains strong, resilient, and healthy. Capital Adequacy Ratio and Liquidity Ratio in the banking sector have remained above the prudential limits at 15.5 and 41.3 percent, respectively.
“The Non-Performing Loan Ratio of the Banking Industry in July 2021 stood at 5.4 percent reflecting continued improvements from 6 percent in September 2020. Our banking sector remains well positioned to support the recovery efforts of the fiscal and monetary authorities. “
The CBN governor declared that “Nigerian banks have become not only strong and resilient, but have also carved a good niche in the world.”