CBN to Banks: Don’t just focus on profit, support the economy

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele has challenged commercial banks not to focus sorely on profit making but to take proactive steps to support the economy.

Speaking yesterday during the opening of the 2021 Bankers’ Committee retreat held in Lagos, the CBN boss said it was not right for the banking sector to be growing and declaring huge profits, while the people are living in penury.

He said that Nigeria must aim for not only a fast, balanced, and sustainable recovery, but also ensure that through improved access to finance, the fundamentals of the economy are strengthened.

Present at the meeting are Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed (participated online), Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), Bello Hassan, bank chief executive officers, among others.

Emefiele challenged the banks on the need to fashion out strategies to fortify the fabric of the Nigerian economy, boost growth and engender resilience especially to exogenous shocks.

“To spur growth, we will need to assess policy measures that can address subsisting imbalances and constraints to finance,” he said.

Emefiele however thanked the bank chiefs for their support during the outbreak of Covid-19 by raising over N38 billion under the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to support people and businesses affected by the pandemic.

“I thank the bank CEOs for their support during outbreak of Covid-19. The fact remains that banks constitute growth catalysts in any economy. How can we have a case where the banking industry is growing and declaring profit, but people are living in penury. Yes, the economy is growing, inflation moderating, the road ahead remains rough. We all must work hard

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