James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has called on banks and financial institutions in the country to abolish the system of using the savings of the common people to buy off debts of the rich, saying the practice does not augur well for the economy of the country.
He also pleaded that they should look at how inflation rate would be reduced as well as how to put an end to non-remittance of public funds by those collecting taxes, rates and charges on behalf government.
The governor spoke while welcoming participants to the 11th Annual Bankers’ Committee Retreat, with the theme, “Delivering Inclusive Growth: Leveraging Digital Finance”, held at the Resort and Conference Centre in Ogere-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area.
According to the governor, that was, “the message of the masses to the Bankers’ Committee”.
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Abiodun said it was imperative for bankers to evolve more pragmatic approaches that would encourage savings and investments, create links between savers and investors and also facilitate the expansion of the financial market.
The Governor noted that the promotion of the local Adire fabrics, was his administration’s deliberate policy to stimulate the local economy of the state by opening upmarket and create a value chain for the local fabric produced in the state.
He added that government would partner with banks to get single digits interest loan for the State’s farmers, retailers, artisans and tradesmen.
He observed that though the country depended more on the oil industry, “the banking industry plays a crucial role in the development of agriculture and its value chain, infrastructure, manufacturing, education, health, among others.
“In agriculture, we are particularly grateful to the Central Bank of Nigeria for partnering with us in the Anchor Borrowers Scheme that has potential to lift over one million people out of poverty and targeted at producing 200,000 agri-preneuers”, he contended.
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Governor Abiodun reiterated that the government would make information available through digitalization, to drive employment and create jobs.
As part of his e-government model, Abiodun stated that his government was working on digitising the process of land administration through the Geographic Information System.
“We are also implementing an improved Digital Treasury Management Solutions to block leakages, drive efficiency and ensure transparency in the management of public funds”, he said.
The Governor pointed out that the theme of the retreat was in tandem with his administration’s inclusive and participatory approach to governance, adding that the State has attracted more Foreign Direct Investment as a result of conducive business environment.
In his speech, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and Chairman of the Banker’s Committee, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, charged commercial banks and other financial institutions to ensure they provide better services that would add values to the nation’s economy.
Emefiele noted that banks, as major stakeholders in the economy should play their roles as a catalyst to the nation’s development by impacting positively on the well being of the citizens rather than engaging on money-making activities alone.
He posited that there was a link between economic growth and security, advising participants to plan ahead in order for the nation to achieve a robust and efficient economy that would add values to all categories of businessmen and women.
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