Tuesday, March 17, 2020

FG asks bankers’ committee to finance infrastructural projects

FG asks bankers’ committee to finance infrastructural projects
February 19
11:08 2020

The federal government has asked the bankers’ committee to intervene in the financing of infrastructure across the country.

Addressing journalists at the end of the first bankers’ committee meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, Bello Hassan, CBN’s director of banking supervision, said the request was sent to the committee through Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor.

He said the committee is considering the financing of about four roads in order to bridge the infrastructural deficit in the country.

“The government has invited the committee of bankers to consider the possibility of public-private partnership in bridging the infrastructural gap. To that extent, the committee considered coming in to see how it can finance about four roads,” he said.

Hamda Ambah, managing director, FSDH Merchant bank, said the committee acknowledged that the federal government cannot provide all the infrastructure the country needs.

“What was agreed was to create a small committee among the CEOs to work with the central bank to identify those roads where we would like to participate. Come up with a framework which we will share with the government as to how we intend to do that and once we have an agreement we will be able to forge ahead,” she said.

When asked about the form which the intervention will take, the CBN director said it is too early to identify the form of intervention.

He said a subcommittee has been created to look at the modalities and engage the government in order to identify the way forward.

“The offer was just made by the government and the bankers just discussed it. So it is too early in the day to say this is how the structure is going to be. The committee has already set up a small subcommittee to look at the modalities and also engage the government so as to know the way forward,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Segun Agbaje, managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank, said increasing the loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) from 60 to 65% has led to the issuance of more credits to consumers.

“When the LDR was first fixed at 60%, we thought it was monumental. But as you can see people have approached it, now it is at 65%,” he said.

“It is critical to not just the banking industry but to Nigerians as a whole that this continues. This is one of the most successful things that was done in 2019 when you look at how much credit was available in the six-month period. I think consumer credit is growing very well.”

The committee also said it has increased paid-up capital of NIRSAL from N5 billion to N7.5 billion.


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