Home Finance Banker CEO to honour CBN Governor

Banker CEO to honour CBN Governor

by Business News Report

By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
The Chief Executive Officers of the 25 banks that scaled through the N25 billion minimum capital base will on March 18 honour the CBN Governor Professor Charles Soludo for his achievement in such a short period of time. The 25 banks are organising a parley in which all the banks will participate to celebrate the award given to the Governor by the Banker magazine as the African and Global Central Banker of the year 2005. The banker magazine is a subsidiary of the Financial Times of London.
The event which comes up on March 8, 2006 will hold at the Muson Center Lagos.
The gathering of Bank chief executives is also to honour Soludo’s achievement since assuming office in 2004. Bankers say that Soludo’s policy has helped to reshape banking in Nigeria into a much stronger and virile industry. Professor Soludo in less than two years in office has garnered several local and international awards. The event is expected to attract dignitaries from across the economy. The Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana Dr. Paul Acqual is expected to deliver the key note address on Africa Economy. Also expected are former Secretary General Common Wealth, Mr. Emeka Anyoku, Akintola Williams and Alhaji Aliko Dangote a foremost industrialist in Nigeria.
The Governor, Professor Charles Soludo, on Thursday, 19th January, 2006, at the Dorchester Hotel in London, was formally presented with the double award as the most outstanding Governor of the Central Bank in the world and in the African region in 2006. The ceremony, which coincides with CBN’s planned interactive session with foreign investors and the media on banking sector consolidation in Nigeria, also in London, was attended by investment bankers, government officials, the cr√®me of the global banking profession, members of the London diplomatic corps, and the international press.

The award which was instituted by The Banker magazine, published by the Financial Times of London, was in recognition of the efforts of chief executive officers of central banks across the world who have successfully conceived and implemented the most innovative banking policies in the year. Soludo’s successful implementation of the first phase of the banking sector reforms has earned him recognition as the man with the strongest success story in banking in the African region, which forms a separate category of award, as well as the global award. The Banker is the world’s leading banking sector magazine.
A key part of Soludo’s economic vision for Nigeria is to be Africa’s financial hub. A Herculean task by every measure but Soludo, who inspired and led the drafting of Nigeria’s medium term economic blueprint, the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), is undaunted. He has hit the road with what he believes are the first pegs of Nigeria’s new financial system’s architecture.
On July 6, 2004, he had gathered Nigeria’s banking chiefs at his Abuja office and rolled out a 13-point agenda for banking sector reforms. Top on this tough list include the setting of a floor equivalent to $185 million as required capital-base for deposit money banking business in Nigeria. Before then Nigerian banks were required to have about $16 million minimum capitalisation.
The new agenda, among others, also required mergers and acquisitions for banks unable to make the new capitalisation by December 31, 2005; it also includes strict enforcement of corporate governance rules; close collaboration with Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the establishment of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU); rehabilitation of Nigeria’s moribund minting and security printing company; and high activity in proactively preventing imminent systemic crisis; the creation of a sound banking system and a more robust monetary policy formulation and implementation. Soludo believes that from all these will spring up healthy, big and strong banks that depositors can trust, banks that are investor-friendly and that can finance capital intensive projects; enhanced transparency, professionalism, good corporate governance and accountability; and a downward realignment of the cost structure of banks.
All these were designed to strengthen Nigerian banks, make them strong enough to play in the international banking arena, and to position Nigeria as Africa’s financial hub. This big bang consolidation and the reform in core monetary policy regime have produced outstanding results:
“There has been such an unprecedented deepening of the Nigerian capital market to the extent that the share of the banking sector in the total capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has doubled from about 24% as at June, 2004, to about 50% by November, 2005. It cannot be recalled that a single policy in any stock market anywhere in the world has so improved the fortunes of a single sector. Banking sector stocks have today become the hot cakes in the Nigeria capital market.
“Soludo’s reform of the Nigerian banking sector has also set the world record as the least-cost industry-wide restructuring of the banking sector anywhere in the world, with the programme gulping a paltry 0.7 % of GDP. The Malaysian reform which hitherto was held the world record cost about 4% of GDP.
“Nearly $3 million in new investments has been injected into the sector in one year. About $500 million of this came in from abroad. No single policy has attracted so much investment into any non-oil sector in the history of Nigeria within such a period.
“The new capital base has improved liquidity in the system and triggered a steady crashing of interesting 2005. “Lending to the private sector has grown by 40% in 2005 and has in turn lifted growth in the non-oil sector to 8.2% in 2005. “International credit rating for Nigerian banks has improved tremendously as growth in credit lines for some Nigerian banks from abroad has been enhanced by a s much as a factor of 10 in 2005. “There has been a renewed gush of depositor confidence in Nigerian banks today with the emergence of stronger and more reliable banks


Related Posts