The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has outlined the policy focus of the bank for 2022, with a pledge to sustain improved access to finance and credit for households and businesses, mobilise investment to boost domestic productivity, enable faster growth of non-oil exports, and support employment generating activities.
Emefiele disclosed this in his keynote address at the 2021 Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) held in Lagos on Friday, November 26. While noting that the country had been able to contain some of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, he stressed the need for all stakeholders “to work to build a more resilient economy that is better able to contain external shocks, whilst supporting growth and wealth creation in key sectors of our economy.”
According to him, a major lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic was that deliberate efforts must be made to diversify the base of the Nigerian economy. He, therefore, noted that “as the true African Giant, we must fold our sleeves and do everything possible to stop the incidence of importing anything and everything’’. “Proactive steps on the part of stakeholders in the private sector in collaboration with the government in supporting the growth of sectors such as Manufacturing, ICT, and Infrastructure, will strengthen our ability to deal with the challenges of COVID-19, and stimulate further growth of our economy,” he added.
Speaking on the need to build an efficient infrastructure ecosystem in Nigeria and the role of improved infrastructure to the development of the Nigerian economy, he disclosed that all necessary approvals had been obtained for the full commencement of the Infrastructure Corporation (Infracorp), in early 2022.
He further disclosed that the sum of N1 trillion had so far been provided as seed funds by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) working in partnership with critical stakeholders such as the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and African Finance Corporation (AFC) to support the operations of Infracorp. He reiterated that the Infracorp, which is expected to raise over N15 trillion to support investment in critical infrastructure in Nigeria, would also leverage private sector capital in funding the over N35trillion infrastructure deficit.