As the Tinubu administration mobilizes stakeholders for the repositioning of the economy, the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, says stronger partnership with experts in the Banking and Finance industry can spur “turning the economy around in record time”.
Vice President Shettima who was the Special Guest of Honour stated this in Abuja today at the opening of the 16th Annual Banking and Finance Conference themed: ‘Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Empowerment: The Role of The Financial Services Industry’.
The Vice President whose remarks was titled ‘Our Priorities in a Post-Pandemic World’, noted that “we must now do what pessimists may regard as impossible: turning the economy around in record time. We seek your partnership in getting this done. We cannot take your support for granted.”
Continuing he said, “this journey towards economic rejuvenation is not one to be undertaken in isolation. It is a call to forge robust partnerships with strategic nations and multilateral organizations, for in unity, Nigeria can reposition itself as a formidable, globally competitive partner.”
Speaking further about the role of the Banking and Finance in rejuvenating the economy, Sen Shettima called on the stakeholders to “join us in serving the nation. We have promised to reposition consumer finance, and that can’t be done without you.
“We have promised to incentivise and finance value-addition to our agricultural and other products, and you are our ally in this. We need you because Nigeria teeters on the edge of a precarious balance of payments as we import more than we export.”
“The future is already here, and this industry is a springboard for the success of our reforms and programmes. Whether in incorporating blockchain technology or expanding financial inclusion to deliver dividends of democracy to banking and unbanked citizens, Nigeria is here to occupy the high-table in a fast-changing world,” the Vice President added.
On the outcomes of recent government policies and programmes, Sen. Shettima said “I must announce with pride that our decisions are already yielding tangible results, with both state and federal governments now enjoying more substantial allocations.”
He noted that “these funds promise a direct and positive impact on the lives of our citizens. Without the serially unaccounted fuel subsidies, we can now redirect our savings towards more deserving causes.
“We envision a future where no leader can resort to the tired excuse of ‘scarcity of funds’ to evade completion of projects or delayed salary payments. Nigeria is crafting a story where the welfare of our people takes precedence, and financial accountability reigns supreme.”
Speaking on the ‘Eight-Point Agenda’ of the Tinubu Administration, the Vice President said “we have resolved to prioritise food security and ending poverty. We are prioritising economic growth and job creation. We are prioritising access to capital and improving security.
“We are prioritising improving the playing field on which people and particularly companies like yours operate. We are also prioritising the rule of law and the fight against corruption. Each agenda cannot be fully implemented without your cooperation.”
Earlier in his remarks, President of the Chattered Institute of Bankers, Mr Ken Opara said the event which has grown to become the largest gathering of banking and finance professionals in Africa, provides the platform for professionals to come together to drive conversation on topical issues that are critical to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
He praised the reform initiatives of President Bola Tinubu, noting that “the reform initiatives such as subsidy removal, unifying the foreign exchange regime, investing in infrastructure, promoting agriculture, supporting SMEs and tax reforms, among others, if well implemented will unlock the economic potentials of the country.”
Also present at the event were, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu; Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Sen. Osita Izunaso; Ag. Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Folashodun Shonubi, and World Bank Representative in Nigeria, Mr Shubam Chaudhuri, among others.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The State House, Abuja.