CBN to establish NIFC in Eko Atlantic City for investment capital 2022: Emefiele

*The Central Bank of Nigeria says the International Finance Centre will serve as a gateway for funds and investments into the country, and it will be driven by technology and payments system infrastructure

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Driven by modern technology and excellent payments system infrastructure, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it plans to set up the Nigeria International Financial Centre (NIFC) in the highbrow Eko Atlantic City (EAC) by the second quarter of 2022.

ConsumerConnect reports CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, announced this development in his address at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Bankers’ Dinner Friday, November 26, 2021, in Lagos.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

The country’s Bankers’ Bank noted that the proposed IFC would among other things serve investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Emefiele stressed that the Centre as well would serve as a gateway for funds and investments into the country, adding that it will be driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.

Why the International Finance Centre?

The CBN Governor identified lack of access to large pools of cheap investment capital as a key constraint to supporting growth in critical sectors of the economy,

However, with the establishment of the IFC in the Eko Atlantic City, in cosmopolitan Lagos, Emefiele stated that the Centre would seek to address this current challenge in the country.

Emefiele further stated: “Today over $100 trillion is held by institutional investors in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, most of it invested in low-yielding assets relative to high-yielding opportunities in Nigeria.

“Working to tap into this pool of funds will require the set-up of an investment framework that offers comfort and security to investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of our economy.”

The CBN Governor also said: “In this regard, the Central Bank of Nigeria is working to set up an International Financial Centre at the Eko Atlantic City, in Lagos, that will serve as a hub for attracting domestic and external capital which is needed to strengthen our post-COVID economy.

“The International Finance Centre, when fully operational in the 2nd quarter of 2022, will help to position Nigeria as a key destination for investment in Africa.’’

Recall the CBN Governor, September 2021, had hinted that the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC) which will act as an international gateway for capital and investments, driven by technology and payments system infrastructure, would be established within the next 12 months.

NFIC is a ‘new financial hub’ ─CBN Governor

In regard to the proposed NIFC, Emefiele also disclosed that the Centre, he reportedly  termed the ‘new financial hub’, would consolidate the growth and resilience of Nigerian banks, and will curate local and international banks to make them global champions.

The CBN Chief also explained that the NIFC would be a 24/7 financial centre that will complement London, New York and Singapore financial centres and enable an acceleration of homegrown initiatives including the Infracorp Plc.

According to him, the Centre will also complement initiatives on the Nigerian Commodity Exchange and the National Theatre creative hubs for youths as well as the e-Naira project which also debuted in October.

The NIFC will take advantage of existing laws particularly the BOFIA 2020, Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) and other CBN regulations to create a fully global investment and financial hub where monies, ideas, and technology will move freely without hindrance, said he.

Investments in Nigeria’s payments system

Emefiele as well disclosed that about $500million had been invested in indigenous payments system companies between 2015 and 2020.

He noted that the platform has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in the country.

Nevertheless, the apex bank stated despite the various progress indices recorded in the banking and financial sector, about 36 percent of the adult population currently lacked access to financial services in the country.

Thus, improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels could help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to businesses, Emefiele added.

According to him, in line with the CBN’s policy focus for 2022, the CBN would continue with the  implementation of intervention efforts to sustain the recovery efforts and stimulate further growth of the economy.

Kindly Share This Story