Shettima urges banks to key into digital programme
Abuja, Oct. 6, 2023: Vice President Kashim Shettima has urged banks to key into Nigeria’s digital programme targeted at creating one million jobs in the technology space.
Shettima made the demand when he received a delegation from the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, on Thursday in Abuja.
The delegation was led by its President and Chairman of Council, Dr Ken Opara.
The vice president spoke passionately about the intentions of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to initiate policies and programmes to transform all sectors of the nation’s economy.
“Support us in our digital jobs initiative, support us to save this nation. I have confidence and hope in this nation and together we can make this nation work again.
“Beyond the fuel subsidy removal, the harmonisation of foreign exchange and beyond the tax and fiscal reforms, President Tinubu is the most business-friendly President in the contemporary history of Nigeria.
“He understands the business world; he has been part of the business world. He is determined and committed to reposition this nation.”
Shettima who spoke glowingly about the commitment of the banking sector to the development of the Nigerian economy, called on the community to “bequeath to the future generation, the Nigeria of our dream.”
Earlier, president of CIBN, Dr Opara, explained that the leadership of the banking community in Nigeria was at the Presidential Villa to pay homage to the vice-president.
He commended the Tinubu administration for its recent economic policies, especially the removal of fuel subsidy and the exchange rate harmonisation, among others.
Opara assured the vice-president of CIBN’s cooperation in all the administration’s programmes and policies.
“The banking community will be very supportive in ensuring that the laudable policies of this administration are actualised in the interest of the people of this country.
“The banking industry will continue to play pivotal roles in supporting inclusive economic growth. We will continue to deepen financial inclusion by expanding access to banking services across the country.”
He also briefed Shettima on key engagements of the Institute, including those targeted at addressing emerging challenges in the polity, especially the brain drain syndrome.
He said the slowdown in economic activities was responsible for the depletion in the banking sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP but that tide is already changing.
“Essentially, the banking sector represents the engine of growth and that is very important. They serve as catalysts for economic growth.
“What you saw with the growth in terms of our GDP contribution is what happened during the period of the last quarter where there was a slowdown in economic activities.
“But what we are seeing now is that banks are also deepening access to financial support, especially to the key sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, small businesses and infrastructure.
“So, we are going to see growth in the financial system as we move on, especially before the end of this financial year.”
Opara also highlighted other areas of collaboration between the Nigerian government and the Chartered Institute of Bankers.