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Central bankers meet in Nigeria to chart way forward for Nigerian banks

Renowned world banks’ chieftains will be gathering in a banking conference in Nigeria on Thursday, February 11, 2010, to chart a way forward for Nigerian banks.

They will be looking at options for re-capitalising bailed-out banks, insuring depositors’ fund, banking risk management, including corporate governance and regulation.

The conference, organized by Business Day with the theme: “Banking Reforms in Nigeria: What Next After CBN’s Intervention”, follows a raft of financial system shake-up in 2009 that saw Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, bail-out and subsequent take-over of eight banks with difficult financial position.

Bankers like Mario Blejer, former governor of Central Bank of Argentina, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria  and Svein Herald Oygard, former governor of Central Bank of Iceland, will be looking at the next stage for the banking sector in Nigeria after the CBN’s recent intervention.

Other major speakers at the forum include Dalvinder Singh, Associate Professor of Law, University of Warwick, Razia Khan, Regional Head of Research for Africa Standard Chartered Bank, United Kingdom , Luca del Conte, Executive Director, Treasury and Capital Markets Medicapital Bank plc United Kingdom, and Tara O’Connor, Managing Director, Africa Risk Consulting, London .

Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay Media, speaking on the conference, says he believes that BusinessDay owes the business community some responsibility concerning reporting and providing solutions to businesses and the economy in general, and as such it is using the conference to bring solution to the crisis caused by the global financial crisis that culminated in the exposure of banks.

According to him, the conference is expected to discuss ways of resolving the risk factors that have caused the banks the problems they are currently facing now, as well as on the recapitalization of the bailed-out banks.

Aigbogun added that the issue of corporate governance has been one that has also plagued the sector, and with the expected speakers coming in for the conference, BusinessDay would be playing the role of being voice of Business.

Phillip Isakpa, Editor of BusinessDay Media, explained that the conference is coming at the right time, considering the fact that people are beginning to talk about economic recovery in emerging economies after the financial crisis that shook the world between 2008 and 2009.

He said the conference has become even more apt with the kind of exposure it revealed in the banking industry and the impact it had on the economy generally. “We thought 2010 should be the year to look forward, to make possible suggestions to move forward”.

You will recall that the CBN intervened in a number of banks, and as such we still have their managing directors and executive directors under the management of the apex bank. But as it were, the central bank’s desire is first of all to deal with the emergency and exit as soon as possible.

Isakpa said speakers at the conference are ones with enormous experience in the areas they will be speaking on. According to him, they have a understanding of such crisis, particularly after the economies they have worked experienced similar problems in the past.

He said the experiences of former Central Bank of Argentina and Iceland, for instances, will bring perspectives that would be useful for the Nigerian scenario.

Isakpa equally said the contributions of the central bank governors will likely provide new insight to the CBN because of the caliber of people who will speak at the conference.


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