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CBN to establish financial centre to boost economic growth

CBN Headquarters

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set in motion plans to establish the Nigeria International Finance Centre (NIFC), within the next 12 months, aimed at consolidating growth in the banking and financial services sector and in turn boost economic growth.

The NIFC is expected to act as a gateway for capital and investment, will curate local and international banks, capable of competing with similar centres in New York and London and Singapore.

Unveiling the plan at the opening of the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja, today (Tuesday), CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the centre would also be technologically driven.

This is even as stakeholders, who spoke during the ceremony urged for increased funding for businesses to sustain resilient economic growth.

The NIFC will take advantage of our existing laws such as the BOFIA 2020, NEPZA and other CBN regulations to create a fully global investment and a financial hub where monies, ideas, and technology will move freely without hindrance.

Emefiele said: “Central Bank will in the next 12 months be establishing the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC). The NIFC will act as an international gateway for capital and investments, driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.

“The NIFC will take advantage of our existing laws such as the BOFIA 2020, NEPZA and other CBN regulations to create a fully global investment and a financial hub where monies, ideas, and technology will move freely without hindrance.”

He added that when it becomes operational, the Centre will be a 24-hour financial hub would complement other CBN efforts, such as the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, the National Theatre creative and innovation hubs for Nigerian youths and the e-Naira project, which will debut next month.

The CBN boss also noted that the NIFC will enhance the Nigerian Government’s efforts in infrastructure development, which he described as critical to economic growth, especially with the planned launch of the Infrastructure Corporation (InfraCo) Plc, N15trillion Infrastructure Fund, in October.

This is because the Centre is expected to link local and foreign banks to create global champions.

He explained that the InfraCo Fund is being raised in collaboration with the African Finance Corporation (AFC), and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), and is targeted at supporting growth in critical sectors of the economy in the medium and long term run.

Themed, “Economic Recovery, Inclusion and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance,” the conference seeks to reposition the financial services sector as a catalyst for economic recovery, inclusive growth, and transformation.

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