The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has called on the Senate to urgently pass the Financial System Strategy (FSS 2020) Bills into law in order to promote financial inclusion and strengthen electronic payment system in the country.
The CIBN President/Chairman of Council, Prof. Segun Ajibola, was quoted in a statement on Monday to have made the demand during a recent visit by the institute to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
The CIBN boss explained that the quick passage of Nigeria International Financial Centre Bill, Financial Consumer Protection Bill, and the Electronic Transactions Bill are critical to the implementation of FSS 2020.
He commended the level of work done by the Senate, including the passage of the collateral securities into law, passage of 15 other major economic bills passed to law, the review of about 50 existing extant laws and exemplary leadership skills shown by the Senate President.
He thanked Saraki for his exemplary leadership in getting the eight Assembly to pass legislations, which he said had positively impacted on the financial sector.
This, Ajibola said, had in no small measure enhanced the recovery and resilience of Nigeriaâ€™s economy.
He also praised the legislation establishing the Collateral Registry.
He also disclosed that the CIBN will be approaching the NASS to amend its extant law, The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria Act No. 5 of 2007, in order to further strengthen its capacity to deliver on its statutory mandate.
He said the Body of Bankâ€™s Chief Executive Officers, a committee of the Governing Council of the CIBN on March 27, 2018 unveiled the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, deposit money banks, licensed mobile money operators and super agents.
The institute, he added, had also worked closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in carrying out a national survey on the possible adoption of cryptocurrency (particularly Bitcoin) as a legal medium of exchange in the country.
The CIBN plays a prominent role as the Chair of the Global Banking Education Standards Board (GBEStB) and a member of the Education Standards Committee. The GBEStB is a voluntary, industry-led initiative which aims to develop clear, internationally agreed standards for the education of Professional Bankers.
Also speaking at the event, Director-General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha, informed the Senate President that she had presented a letter addressed to the Senate President on the Bills.
She explained that in December 2017, the CBN along with other financial sector regulatory institutions held a Strategy Review after 10 years of implementation of FSS2020 initiatives and transformation plans.
The review realised that there were critical legislation that would have created an optimal legislative environment for implementation of the initiatives and transformation plans.
In his response, Saraki said the Senate under his leadership had passed several bills geared towards strengthening the financial sector for the overall growth of the economy.
He said that Nigeria has demographics that highlight more than 70 per cent of the population is in the youth bracket which is an asset to the nation if properly utilised so that it does not become a liability.
He assured that the Senate would continue to work on legislation that will optimise the economic opportunity for Nigerians. He therefore called for improved level of engagement with the Senate in boosting Financial Technology (FinTech) as an area of innovation and exponential growth in the financial sector with high potential for providing jobs for the youth as well as development of a document that will provide a road map for legislative work and deepen the enabling environment for MSMEs access to credit.
The Senate President also said there was need to deepen financial inclusion to reach the unbanked population in hard to reach areas of the country.