Okonjo-Iweala extols Nigerian banking industry

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

Grace Cofie 

The Director General of the World Trade Orgarnization (WTO), Dr.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has praised the stability of the Nigerian banking sector, citing it as a catalyst to the recovery and development of the country.

She noted that the rate of innovations in financial technology (FinTech) would continue to give stability and growth in the banking sector.

The WTO DG made this statement virtually at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), 2021 Fellowship Investiture, where she was conferred as a fellow of the CIBN over the weekend.

Okonjo-Iweala said, “Nigerian’s banking sector has contributed immensely to the development of the country but there is still so much to be done. Our financial services industry, including the emerging FinTech sector has a stronghold to play. The theme of your deliberation regarding Nigeria’s debt profile and its implications for sustainable development is a very important one. If there is a group that has the necessary professional insight on issues it debt, and debt, sustainability be it at the individual, institutional or national level, it is you.”

On her fellowship, she applauded the institute on its unwavering commitment to stability in the banking sector.

“It’s an honor to be made a fellow of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

“I want to thank the Institute for the excellent work it has done to uphold the professional and ethical standards of the Nigerian banking industry, as well as its efforts to educate new generations of bankers.”

The Deputy Governor (Economic Policy) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Kingsley Obiora, who was also conferred as a fellow, said that the eNaira has positioned Nigeria as leader in the payment system landscape globally.

Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader, PWC, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, while delivering his paper, said with the current fragility in the country’s economic performance, impact assessment was important.

He warned that due to the growing integration among ECOWAS countries and Nigeria’s role in the region, a debt crisis in Nigeria could spillover to other ECOWAS countries.

“Some ECOWAS countries are already showing signs of debt distress, therefore, the situation requires urgent remedial actions,” he said.

Oyedele added that Nigeria spends actual government revenue on payment of interest on debts and barely anything left to finance development.

“The crux of public debt sustainability for Nigeria as well as other ECOWAS countries as debt can out be serviced with revenue and not GDP or export.” He noted.

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