The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday reassured Nigerians and businesses that the era of commercial banks retreating into the country is over.
Speaking during a one-day interactive briefing program with stakeholders from trade unions and civil society in Ilorin on the five-year policy direction of the CBN, the Director of the Corporate Communication Department Supreme body Mr. Osita Nwanisobi said the feat was achieved through the zero stability, strength and resilience that the apex bank has brought to the country’s financial system.
The CBN official, who said the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell from minus 6.10% in the third quarter of 2020 to 4.03% in the third quarter of 2021, attributed the success to CBN interventions. in the health sector and N1 trillion interventions in the manufacturing sector.
“In the aftermath of the global health crisis (COVID-19), Nigeria, like all other economies, entered a recession. The CBN has mitigated the adverse effects of the pandemic by intervening in the economy of households, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses by reducing the interest rate from nine percent to five percent, extending the moratorium an initial period of one year and later one year: tolerance agreement to banks to restructure under the conditions of the facilities they had granted to companies and SMEs.
“Others are interventions on health, housing finance and solar energy. Currently, CBN is involved in the entrepreneurship scheme of higher education institutions (TIES). All of these are aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and slowing its impact on the global economy.
“As a result, we have recorded a significant recovery in the economy. In the second quarter of 2020, due to COVID-19, the Nigerian economy fell on a negative trajectory. Our GDP growth was minus 6.10 percent. In the third quarter of the same year, GDP was minus 3.62 percent, but in the fourth quarter, the economy registered marginal growth of 0.10 percent.
“In the first quarter of 2021, the GDP increased to 0.51%, in the second quarter it increased to 5.10% and in the third quarter of the same 2021, the GDP increased by 4.03%.
“When we relate this to the five-year policy of the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, we will gradually begin to see the growth trajectory of the economy.
“Before that, the inflation rate started to drop from 16.3% to 15.99%. Food inflation was also 9 percent, with a downward trend. It’s not where we want it to be, but it’s also progress given what has happened. “
Speaking on Nigeria’s financial stability, he put “the capital adequacy ratio at 15.2 percent and the liquidity ratio at 41.2 percent. “Both at prudential limits. “
The CBN spokesperson said the country’s non-performing loans had fallen from 5.7 percent to 5.3 percent, adding that “I’m giving you these numbers to show that the country’s financial system is strong, stable and weak. resilience, ”he said.
The umbrella bank said the need to partner with stakeholders on measures to develop the country’s economy has become timely, adding that it will take collective responsibility for each stakeholder, apart from the functions of the CBN, to improve the country’s economy.
“If we all put our heads, our hands together, we will develop our economy in a sustainable way.
The CBN official, who also advised Nigerians to be more careful with their financial documents or passwords, said hackers found it easy to tamper with accounts whose owners had carelessly handled their related information.
“The individual is the greatest security that one should have. If you leave your password or some documents or information private and let people know, then it is very easy for hackers to tamper with your bank account. However, we have put in place an infrastructure to guard against any form of hacking and this infrastructure will be continually upgraded, ”he said.
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The era of commercial banks is turning in – CBN