Mrs Aisha Ahmad, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that the repayment relief granted the banking sector had helped retain its capacity to lend.
Ahmad said this while fielding questions from journalists at the 40th anniversary Summit of the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) in Lagos on Friday.
The theme of the event is, “Toward a Shared prosperity in Africa; The role of the Financial System”.
She expressed delight about the positive resilience which the sector was showing, noting that the CBN strategically supported the recovery based on the impact of COVID-19.
“And some of the forbearance that we granted to the banking sector has helped to ensure it retain the capacity to lend and give succor also to the obligors.
“ And we are seeing some obligors come out of that forbearance now. The financial soundness indicators has been very strong on capital, liquidity and we are very proud.
“We just want to continue to ensure that the banking system continues to provide lending, not just wholesale lending, commercial lending but to small business, because that is the engine of the economy,’’ she said.
Mr Kuben Naidoo, CBN’s Deputy Governor and Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Authority expressed the belief that the customers were put into consideration while making the adjustment.
“Policymakers always face multiple objectives, complex traders, we want to ensure the safety and soundness of the institution that we regulate, we want to ensure customer protection and we want to ensure innovation.
“We want to ensure competition and financial inclusion, and all of these while lowering costs in some ways, the single objective of policymaking and regulation in the financial sector is so that costs will come down.
“So that ordinary people are able to access financial services at an increasing or decreasing cost and are able to utilise the services better.
“ The objectives often compete; sometimes there is a tradeoff between safety and soundness on the one hand, and barriers to entry competition, sometimes there is a tradeoff between digitalisation, allowing non-banks to get access to the payment system and customer protection,” Naidoo said.
He however, queried how policymakers face the tables and what lens they use to ensure that in making the tradeoffs, individuals are put first and customers are the guiding light.
“Our guiding light must be our mothers and fathers who use the financial services sector for wealth accumulation, protection and insurance.
”If they are able to access the services at the lowest possible price, then we are making a difference and impact,’’ he said.
The chief executive officer also said that the financial services sector should be there to allow citizens accumulate wealth and not make billions.
Earlier, Chizor Malize, FITC Managing Director said that the essence of the conference was to dissect contemporary issues, challenges and opportunities that the African economy was faced with while leveraging on the financial service system.
FITC is the foremost knowledge solution organisation for the Nigerian financial sector.
The international financial experts, policy makers, development economist, leaders in private and public sectors within the financial system in the country attended the summit.