The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, has said the financial services system should keep pace with changing industry demands for sustainable economic growth.
Adebayo, who spoke at the 2021 National Workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers on Thursday, said for the nation’s economic growth to be enhanced, the financial sector needed increased efficiency, broadening and deepening.K
He said, “As the economy grows, the financial services sector needs to keep pace with changing industry demands, especially in terms of assessing the prospects for risk and return. Sustainable growth of the economy needs to be underpinned by a broadening and deepening of the financial system, capable of serving the needs of all parts of the economy.
“Economies that have sustained long-term growth have experienced enormous structural change, as they have shifted from being predominantly rural and agricultural to a more urban, manufacturing- and service-based structure.
He noted that this was the history of many industrialised countries, as their economies were diversified and their financial systems grew in depth and breadth.
According to the minister, emphasis is being placed on reforms that strengthen the rights of borrowers and lenders, strengthen the credit rating system, lower the costs of obtaining credit and streamline dispute resolution.
He said the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement would enhance Africa’s capacity to unlock growth and create jobs by building Nigeria’s industrial capacity, enlarging her productivity and becoming competitive globally.
Adebayo said, “Nigeria has the largest economy and population in Africa with more than $500bn in GDP and a population of 200 million. This market size allows manufacturers to increase capacity and expand into other African countries.
“This will enable investors to benefit not only from the Nigerian market but from other countries on the continent as well. To put this in context, Nigeria contributes an estimated 76 per cent of the total trading volume in the Economic Community of West African States’ region.”