Posted by Amechi Obiakpu, Lagos | 13 February 2015 | 2,942 times
The Bankers Committee has predicted an increase in non-oil revenue, which it says will cushion the effects of the drop in the price of oil in the international market. This, according to it, is as a result of the Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Lagos at the end of the Bankers Committee meeting, FCMB Chief Executive Officer Ladi Balogun said that the country’s non-oil revenue, which stood at over N75 billion last year, is expected to increase to over N150 billion this year.
“The good news is that, while there may be structural challenges in the nation’s oil revenue, the country will be very positive in terms of diversification of the economy and so on,” Balogun said.
“The banking industry will play its own role in supporting that diversification in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) space and Agriculture amongst others. So we feel that these challenges are going to be temporary and with what we see in the non oil revenue with support from banking industry committed to the real sector we will sure come through with a stronger economy,” he added.
There have been fears in various quarters that the devaluation of the naira by the monetary authorities has given rise to speculations in the economy. But, CBN noted that its action is aimed at building a stronger economy as the challenges are only temporary.
Also addressing media men after the Bankers Committee meeting, Segun Agbaje, Managing Director of GTBank, stated that devaluation is not a curse but a step towards ensuring a stronger economy.
“What we have today is fall of oil price and as a country we are trying to find what level the currency devalues to. No Central Bank in the world allows a free-fall of its currency; what you do is to try to find a price discovery and find the rate at which you can live with it. I think we are going through that processes in Nigeria, that is why at the last MPC, the CBN devalued and also moved at mid-point, what you are seeing in the inter-bank market is a gain,” Agbaje said.
According to him, “The thing about price discovery is that rate will go up and rate will come down and, so, those who choose to speculate will run the risk of actually losing money. So until we find what that rate is – I believe we are round about there. I believe the CBN is also going through that price discovery. I don’t think we are in a state of chaos because there are some very strong economies that have gone through devaluation; so, it is not a curse.”
On her part, Tokunbo Martins, Director Banking Supervision at CBN, stated that the nation’s banking industry is safe, sound and resolute. She noted that this conclusion was arrived at based on the bank’s capital adequacy level, liquidity, profitability and asset quality.
Martins said that the capital level of the banks is high enough to accommodate the unexpected, some of the highest in the world.
•Photo shows Bankers Committee Chairman, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.
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