The Bankers’ Committee has restated its resolve to continue to design policies that will support the growth of the country.
The Bankers’ Committee, an umbrella body comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Discount Houses also reiterated its determination to continually redefine the practice of banking in Nigeria.
A statement from the committee Tuesday noted that since 2009 when it held its first annual retreat by the prompting of the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido, its chairman, it has grown to become a major catalyst for economic growth and stability in Nigeria.
“Over the past 5 years, the banking industry, through the Bankers Committee’s initiatives has played more than a financial intermediary role in the nation’s economy by asserting its centrality to nation building.
Specifically, the committee has championed numerous landmark initiatives designed to transform Nigeria from a mono-economy to an economy with the capacity to earn from many more sources beyond crude oil which the country has relied on for decades,” it added.
It stated the committee contributed to the strengthening of critical sectors of the economy and supported in driving several empowerment programmes targeted at speedy diversification of the economy.
Specifically, it pointed out that activities of the sub-committee on Economic Development and Sustainability have impacted the agriculture, aviation, power, transportation and manufacturing sectors significantly.
In statistical terms, total banking industry loans to the agric sector have grown from one per cent in 2009 to four per cent in 2013.
“Similarly, other identified sectors have witnessed significant transformation and enjoyed professional and technical supports from the Bankers’ Committee.
“The committee has also received commendations for its role in funding the acquisition of companies under the power reform programme designed to strengthen the economy and support prosperity of the Nigerian nation.
“Beyond the committee’s quest at resuscitating the nation’s economy, the umbrella body for operators in the nation’s financial sector has continuously nudged the industry towards protecting the society, the communities and environment in which financial institutions and their clients operate,” it noted.
The committee’s efforts also led the sector to adopt sustainable principles. The adoption of principles is predicated on the position of the financial sector as a driver of economic growth and recognition of the significant influence it wades through its lending activities which supports the functioning of other sectors of the economy.
The financial sector therefore seeks, through the adoption of the ‘Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles’ and the operationalisation of its tenets seek to balance environmental and social (E&S) risks identified with the exploitable opportunities through their business activities.
By this, the direct impact of the sector’s activities on the environment and society through capital allocation decisions to other sectors of the economy will be guided by sustainability principles.