By Onyinye Nwachukwu
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will establish The Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC) within the next 12 months to act as an international gateway for capital and investments inflows.
The NIFC will be driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced this Tuesday morning at the opening session of the ongoing 14th Annual hybrid conference of the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN).
The NIFC – a new financial hub that builds on the growth and resilience of Nigerian banks in the last decade, will curate local and international banks to make them global champions.
Nigerian banks have become not only strong and resilient but have also carved a good niche in the world.
Key indicators in the banking sector continue to reflect the strength, resilience, and health of the banking sector which has over the years witnessed an incredible transformation.
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Capital Adequacy Ratio and Liquidity Ratio in the banking sector have remained above the prudential limits at 15.5 and 41.3 percent, respectively.
Non-Performing Loan Ratio of the Banking Industry in July 2021 stood at 5.4 percent – though slightly above the 5 percent threshold- reflects continued improvements from 6 percent in September 2020.
Emefiele said the banking sector remains well-positioned to support the recovery efforts of the fiscal and monetary authorities and that it is on the back of robust improvements that the NIFC is being mulled.
According to him, 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 homegrown initiatives such as Infracorp plc, the N15 Trillion infrastructure fund which we will be launching in October 2021.
The NIFC will also complement the CBN’s initiatives on the Nigerian Commodity exchange – which is being revamped- and the National Theatre creative hubs for our youths as well as the E-naira project which will also debut in October 2021.
The NIFC will take advantage of Nigeria’s existing laws such as the BOFIA 2020, NEPZA, and other CBN regulations to create a fully global investment and a financial hub where monies, ideas, and technology will move freely without hindrance.