CBN, IFC partner on private sector growth

CBN headquartersThe Central Bank of Nigeria and the International Finance Corporation, members of the World Bank Group, have collaborated on how to strengthen private sector growth in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the CBN late Thursday following the visit of the IFC delegation led by its Managing Director, Mr. Makhtar Diop, to the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso.

Nigeria holds the second-largest IFC portfolio in Africa with an active investment portfolio of $2.1bn as of April 2024.

Providing an update about the visit via its X handle (formerly Twitter) CBN said, “The leadership of the CBN and IFC held a significant meeting to discuss strategies for supporting Nigeria as part of the IFC’s mandate to bridge the infrastructure gap, build productive industries, and foster inclusive business approaches.

“A key focus of the meeting was identifying areas to support private sector growth in Nigeria, including expanding access to credit, facilitating trade of receivables for SMEs, and promoting local currency liquidity enhancement solutions between the CBN and the IFC.”

The regulator added that both the CBN and IFC aim to invigorate Nigeria’s banking industry by fostering the development of financial products that meet the country’s needs and catalyse the financial ecosystem.

“This includes advancing initiatives that Nigerian banks can readily adopt,” CBN concluded.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has called on international development financiers to see Africa as a destination for growth and prosperity.

“The IFC and the World Bank need to see Africa differently. I am glad an African is at the helm of affairs at IFC, and as an African, understand that the potential for growth, peace, stability, and prosperity is here.

“The world has to see us as a continent that can help the rest of the world, and not perceive us as backwards, unstable, and with leadership problems. The expectations of the rest of the world on Africa have to change. By looking at Africa as a potential opportunity and not a danger to the rest of the free world, we can stimulate growth and propel inclusiveness,” the president told the IFC team during their visit to him on Thursday.

In his remarks, the IFC told the President that during his working visit to Nigeria, the IFC had engaged in productive discussions with Nigerian partners to enhance agriculture, increase food production through irrigation farming, upgrade transport networks, and bolster regional integration.

One of the deals made during this visit was the $23.3m loan agreement with Johnvents Industries Limited, a leading agribusiness for economic development and agricultural transformation, to develop the cocoa sector.
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