There are ongoing moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to get commercial banks and microfinance banks to return to the troubled North-East region, NDIC Managing Director, Umaru Ibrahim, has said.
Speaking yesterday at the ongoing NDIC Annual Workshop for financial journalists in Kano, Ibrahim, called on the CBN to provide incentives for commercial banks and microfinance banks to come back to the North-east after they closed shops because of the impact of the Boko Haram on their operations.
He said the Northeast has potentials to support economic growth and should be supported by banks to achieve the desired result. He spoke on the theme: “The Nigerian banking sector: Challenges, opportunities and the way forward.”
He said: “Many bank CEOs have forgotten the economic potentials that exist in the Northeast. We need to awaken the banks to see the economic potentials in the Northeast. During the next special Bankers’ Committee meeting, the Northeast infrastructural revival will be discussed. The CBN already has plan to rebuild the Northeast,” he said.
He called on the CBN and other major stakeholders in the financial system to rebuild the financial infrastructure in the troubled North-East region.
He said the activities of insurgents in the region in the last few years have led to huge damage of financial infrastructure in the region.
The NDIC boss disclosed that given the crisis in the North-East region, so many businesses have been adversely affected while some investors have moved their investments out of that region.
He said the rate at which people are being financially excluded in the region has increased due to lack of adequate provision of financial services which was caused by insurgents.
The NDIC boss said he would personally table the issue to the Bankers’ Committee during their next meeting so that concrete steps could be taken to address the problem.