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CBN, NSIA to Lead Discussion on Infrastructure, SME Financing at FICAN Summit

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) are set to lead discussions on infrastructure as well as small and medium scale enterprise financing at a forthcoming summit.

The summit is part of activities marking the 30th anniversary celebration and 2021 annual conference of finance correspondents association of Nigeria (FICAN).

A statement from the association said the theme of the conference scheduled to hold on September 25th and 26th, 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 mobilise 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 rotate. 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 dare need of adequate infrastructure.

The statement further revealed that seasoned experts and leaders in the financial services sector will serve as panelists 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 post Covid-19 economy.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed is expected to give opening remarks while the 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 and 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 past national chairmen of FICAN for their unique services and dynamism in sustaining the vision of the association.

The  conference  will  be  attended  by  the  umbrella  body of  over  150  finance  journalists  and business editors, covering money market, capital market and the insurance industry, from the print, online and electronic media, it noted.

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