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CBN, NSIA to lead discourse on infrastructure, SME financing at FICAN summit

Joseph Oyekanmi

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) will be leading the discussion at a summit on Infrastructure, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) financing.

The summit is part of activities marking the 30th Anniversary celebration and 2021 Annual Conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN).
A statement from the association said the theme of the conference scheduled to hold on September 25-26, 2021 at Ikeja Lagos is: “Financing Infrastructure & SMEs for Inclusive Growth in Post-COVID-19 Economy.”
It would bring together leaders in the banking, technology, SMEs fields, including regulators and government agencies as they explore areas Nigeria can mobilize patient funds for infrastructure development and upgrade.
Infrastructure is critical to Nigeria’s sustainable economic growth as it is the pivot on which the wheel of other economic activities rotates. But, over the years, its financing has been a challenge.
Incidentally, financing the SMEs sector is also a challenge, thereby highlighting the fact that almost every sector of the Nigerian economy is in dire need of adequate infrastructure.
The statement further revealed that seasoned experts and leaders in the financial services sector will serve as panellists in the media interactive session with sub-themes: Synergising monetary and fiscal policy for economic sustainability;
Filling infrastructure gap in face of rising debts; Financing SMEs in the new normal; mobilizing funds from the capital market and Financing Nigeria health sector in the post-Covid-19 economy.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed is expected to give opening remarks while, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele will deliver the keynote address.
The Managing Director NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, will be the guest speaker while Panelists will include: Mr Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director, Heritage Bank; Managing Director FMDQ Mr Bola Onadele-Koko, Director-General, Debt Management Office, Ms Patience Oniha; Managing Director Fidelity Bank Mrs Nneka Onyeali Ikpe, officials of the CBN, Managing Director NSIA, Mr Uche Orji; Chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training (FERT) Lagos Professor Akpan Ekpo.
The event will also feature awards and recognitions to corporate bodies and individuals who have supported the association over the years. Recognitions will be made to the past national chairman of FICAN for their unique service and dynamism in sustaining the vision of the association.
The conference will be attended by the umbrella body of finance journalists and business editors, covering the money market, capital market and the Insurance industry, from the print, online and electronic media, it noted.

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