The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said that the apex bank would set up an International Financial Centre at the Eko Atlantic City by the second quarter of 2022, for investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of the economy. The Centre, which would serve as a gateway for funds and investments into Nigeria, will be driven by technology and payment system infrastructure.
This disclosure was made by Emefiele while speaking at the 56th Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Annual Bankers Dinner, on Friday night, in Lagos.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Emefiele noted that a major challenge to supporting growth in key sectors of the Nigerian economy is access to large pools of cheap investment capital.
What the CBN Governor said
Emefiele in his statement said, “Today over US$100 trillion is held by institutional investors in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, most of it invested in low-yielding assets relative to high-yielding opportunities in Nigeria.
“Working to tap into this pool of funds will require the set-up of an investment framework that offers comfort and security to investors seeking to invest in critical sectors of our economy.
“In this regard, the Central Bank of Nigeria is working to set up an International Financial Center at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos that will serve as a hub for attracting domestic and external capital which is needed to strengthen our post-COVID economy.
“The International Finance Center, when fully operational in the 2nd quarter of 2022, will help to position Nigeria as a key destination for investment in Africa.’’
What you should know
Recall that in September 2021, Emefiele announced that the CBN will establish the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC) in the next 12 months to serve as a gateway for funds and investments into Nigeria.
The NIFC, when operational, will be a 24-hours financial centre that will complement London, New York, and Singapore financial hubs, allowing Nigerian efforts like Infracorp Plc, a N15 trillion infrastructure fund that will be launched in October 2021, to accelerate.
He said the NIFC would complement other CBN efforts such as the Nigerian Commodity Exchange and the National Theatre’s creative hubs for Nigerian youths, as well as the e-Naira project, which was subsequently launched in October 2021.