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CBN moves to increase capital base of banks

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, says that Nigerian banks were not adequately capitalised to meet the need of a $1 trillion economy which the current administration was aiming to achieve, hence the need to increase the capital base of banks in the country.

CBN Governor, Dr Olayemi Cardoso, spoke at the 2023 Bankers’ Dinner on Friday, even as he noted that, there had been stability in the banking sector, in the country.

His words: “Will Nigerian banks have sufficient capital relative to the finance system’s needs in servicing a one trillion dollar economy in the near future? In my opinion, the answer is no, unless we take action.

“Therefore, we must make tough decisions regarding capital adequacy. As a first step, the Central Bank will be directing banks to increase their capital.”

Cardoso, also spoke of the importance of technology in delivering financial services as well as enhancing financial inclusion, just as spoke about financial institutions that have breached their licences regarding the use of technology to facilitate payment. According to Cardoso, the apex bank has observed that some institutions were operating outside the approved guidelines.

“Any intentional or unintended non-compliance will be subject to sanctions as operators have the responsibility to ensure that they are licenced for the activity they undertake.

“As we conduct a comprehensive review of the licencing framework for payment services, we will engage in extensive consultations to engage a new regulatory and compliance framework that is suitable for the technology-driven payment services sector,” he added.

The CBN boss also weighed in on the 43 items previously restricted from accessing foreign exchange, forex, from the investor’s and exporters’ I&E, window.

“During the period when the 43 items were restricted, there was a 51 per cent increase in trade evasion by importers accessing the foreign exchange market resulting in a revue drop of approximately $1.4 billion annually between 2015 and 2019,” he further said.