NIGERIA’S troubled
economy will record
tremendous improvement
by the third quarter of
the year, the Central Bank
of Nigeria (CBN), has
predicted. The Director
of Banking Supervision
of CBN, Mr Ahmed
Abdullahi, told newsmen
that the prediction was
the outcome of the 333rd
Bankers’ Committee
meeting in Lagos.
According to him, this
is because the foreign
exchange rate has
remained stable as there
is convergence between
the official and parallel
markets. He also said that
investors’ confidence in the
economy was gradually
building up as was
indicated in downward
trend in the inflation
rate and the positive
development recorded at
the capital market.
“The Bankers Committee
noted with delight the
improvement in the
economy in recent times.
Although the economy is
still in the negative but the
size of the negative growth
has reduced.
“It is almost obvious
that by the end of the
third quarter, there will be
positive growth and there
are a number of indices
that are pointing toward
that. “Inflation is trending
downwards. It is about
16.25 per cent from 18 per
cent that it was.
“The exchange rate
has largely stabilised,”
and the director added
that confidence was
increasingly building in the
economy, saying that it was
due to improvement in oil
production and oil price.
“The economy will remain
robust now that there is
upward growth in most of
the sectors of the economy.
“The nafex window in
the last six weeks shows
over two billion dollars
has been reregistered as
inflow and that has helped
in stabilising the market.
“With other windows, we
have seen activities that
have helped in building
confidence in the market
generally,’’ he said.
The Managing Director of
Standard Chartered Banks,
Mrs Bola Adesola, gave an
update on the agriculture
and small enterprise
equity fund. Adesola said
that the equity fund was a
decision reached after the
last Bankers’ Committee’s
retreat in May.
Also speaking, Mr
Nnamdi Okonkwo, the
Managing Director of
Fidelity Bank, said there
were also discussions on
issues that could jeopardise
financial inclusion and
anything that would stop
people from being included
in the formal financial
sector.
“We will work to ensure
that bottlenecks are
removed. “One key issue
that came up today is
customers of Micro Finance
Banks who do not yet have
their Bank Verification
Numbers (BVN) registered.
“Some feedback that we
got at the committee was
that some banks charge
customers when they try
to register. “So the bankers’
committee agreed today
that MFB customers can
walk into any bank and
register their BVN free of
charge to make sure that
we don’t discourage people
from being financially
included.


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