Decide What Financial System Nigeria Needs To Grow Economy, Ambode Urges Bankers

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, on Saturday, challenged stakeholders in the Nigerian financial service industry to collaborate and agree on the type of financial system the country really needs for economic growth to have the desired meaning and impact the people effectively.
Ambode spoke while welcoming participants to the ninth Annual Bankers’ Committee Retreat in the state capital, Ikeja, such challenge should occupy the minds at the event, rather than such key stakeholders in the system such as the Finance Ministry, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Debt Management Office (DMO) who need letters of approval to enable them obtain Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) for commercial loans from states.
According to him, the theme of this year’s retreat: “Improving financial access, job creation, and inclusive growth in Nigeria” covers three key issues that are at the heart of our nation’s economy and are important determinants of her future prosperity, and indeed at the very heart of my priority agenda as Governor of Lagos State.
To tackle the endemic poverty, growing the economy at a faster pace is key to reducing poverty from over 60% currently by creating over four million jobs annually and thereby preventing social unrest and unlocking the full potential of this country.
To achieve this, he said the country needs a properly functioning banking sector as investment and day-to-day commerce requires the intermediation of banks, adding that although “someone outside of the formal financial sector can in some cases make a living, the reality is that incomes of the bottom of the pyramid are increased when we have better financial inclusion.
Such system that would enable the economy grow at double the population rate or more, which Nigeria needs at this time, he said, “does not happen by accident – it takes active intervention by all of you in this room, guided by a view of what the ultimate design and regulations need to be to give us a well-functioning, low-cost financial system that will work for all Nigerians.”
While pondering on such challenge, he urged participants at the retreat “to be bold in your thinking and ready to translate the ideas that come out of these sessions into policies and actions that will ensure inclusive growth for Nigeria and positively impact our people.
“As a government, I pledge our full support in providing an enabling environment for the banking industry to thrive and we will continue working actively towards the ease of doing and transacting business,” he added.