Bankers Committee to help bridge infrastructure deficit in Nigeria
The Bankers Committee, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), will work with the Federal Government to finance four roads in the country, an official said on Tuesday.
The Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mr Bello Hassan made the disclosure to journalists at the end of the 348th meeting of the bankers committee in Lagos.
He said that government requested the committee to consider participating in bridging the infrastructure gap in the country.
Hassan noted that government could not fund typical infrastructure alone.
“The government has invited the committee of bankers to also consider the possibility of Public Private partnership (PPP) in bridging the infrastructural gap.
”It is to that extent that the committee considered coming in to see how we can finance about four roads,” he said.
The Managing Director, FSDH MERCHANT Bank, Mrs Hamda Ambah, said government alone could not provide the infrastructure needed in the country.
She said: ” We have created a small committee among the CEOs to work with the CBN to identify those roads where we would like to participate and come up with a framework which we would share with government, and once we have an agreement, we would be able to forge ahead.’’
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee also discussed the loan-to-deposit ratio policy.
The performance of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance bank was also reviewed as well as its impact on the lower segment of the society.
The Managing Director, Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman, said that the bankers committee was looking into many ways to support government and the society.
He said this could be in the area of increasing the level of credit to the private sector and real sector of the economy, working with the NIRSAL and other banks to increase financial inclusion or specifically intervening in infrastructure.
“These are steps being taken to ensure that government is supported in the drive to grow this economy, reduce unemployment and also improve the security of the nation,” Usman said.
On loan-to-deposit ratio, the Mangaing Director, GTBank, Mr Segun Agbaje said lending was what was needed to stimulate any economy.
” And so, when the LDR was first fixed to 60 percent, we thought it was monumental, but as you can see, people have approached it; now it is 65 percent.
” I think this is very critical, not only in the banking industry, but to Nigerians as a whole that this continues,” he said.
The Acting Managing Director, NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank, Mr Abubakar Kure, said in order to accelerate the success of the NISRAL MfB, the bankers committee support had also increased its paid up capital of the bank from N5bn to N7.5bn.
He explained that what that means was the paid up capital would enable the bank to promote expansion of branches across the country.
Kure said the branches would be used as a tool for financial Inclusion and economic development.
He said already the bank had disbursed Agri-business small and medium enterprises investment scheme (AGSMEIS) fund to about 5000 applicants across the country, worth over N18bn.
He said the branches would be used as a front to further disburse,so as to reach lower segments of the society that are not economically active.