By Chioma Iruke
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame have charged players in the Nigerian banking sector to take up the responsibility of facilitating economic growth and development of the African continent.
They made the call at the 14th Annual Banking and Finance conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) held in Abuja on Tuesday.
Kagame stated that Africa needs to reduce its dependency on external resources, as the continent has the capacity to fund its growth.
He called on the banking industry to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which aims at creating more opportunities in Pan African trade and investment.
He posited that the industry in setting the pace in integrity, as “banking is about trust.”
Lending his voice to the call, Osinbajo noted that the country had survived two recessions within four years as a result of the fall in petroleum prices, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that a 5.01 GDP growth had also been experienced within the last quarter.
He added that there was need for government policies to be based on creating more jobs and lifting Nigerians out of poverty.
The VP urged the banking industry to step up and play major roles in economic development, as recent reports suggested that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa’s banking sector experienced major growth and is twice as profitable as the global average.
He called on stakeholders to take up bigger challenges such as consumer finance, housing finance and climate change litigations.
Osinbajo commended the country’s apex bank for their dedication in providing data and security, a feat the Vice President believes would aid the sector to recover loans.