To enhance the living condition of the average Nigerian and reduce effects of climate change, the Federal Government is planning new policy measures, which will include abolishing the use of kerosene for lighting in Nigeria by 2030 among others. Also, by that year, the Federal Government will eradicate short-lived pollutants in the oil and gas sector of the economy. President Muhammadu Buhari stated this yesterday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 15th Annual Banking and Finance Conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). Represented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, President Buhari while speaking on climate change stated that: “Long-term greenhouse emissions have resulted in hotter temperatures, more severe rainstorms, increased drought and food security issues.
“To tackle this issue, the government has set plans in motion to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions from Nigeria. More specifically, by 2030 we aim to eliminate kerosene lighting as well as short-lived pollutants in the Oil and Gas sector.” The President noted that the government will continue to cushion the adverse effects of inflation through its social safety net programmes, stressing that for a developing country like Nigeria, he said the effects of inflation are felt more strongly by less privileged citizens. He attributed the raging inflation across the world to pent-up consumer demand after the pandemic and the Rus-sian invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to the theme of the conference, “Repositioning the Financial Services Industry for an Evolving Glocal Context,” the President noted that “in the new ‘Glocal’, repositioning the finance services industry involves valuable innovations to ensure global solutions reach local indigenous customers”. In repositioning itself, President Buhari urged the finance sector to “serve not just as an intermediary for lenders and borrowers but in creating a new ecosystem consisting of platforms where ordinary Africans can buy and sell their locally made products despite currency disparity as being practiced on the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a brainchild of Afrexim Bank”. Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Farouk Gumel, Chairman Union Bank Plc. described unbanked Nigerians as a huge and very important segment of society.
“Those unbanked Nigerians are not only potential savers and borrowers. With our help, these are the entrepreneurs and founders of the businesses of the future. When we look at the valuations of Nigerian banks, we often base those valuations on the idea that they are serving 200 million people. The reality is that they are not. They are serving a far smaller country, divided between a handful of big cities – and those big cities look abroad, as much as they look within. So, to ‘reposition’ for a ‘Glocal context’, we need also to look more inwards”, he said. Dr. Ken Opara, President/ Chairman of Council of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria said “as the world continues to evolve, the financial services industry will need to explore innovation and reconfigure its business and operating platforms, in some cases it would require making profound changes to succeed in the future”.
The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu, represented by Dr. Rabiu Olowo the state’s Commissioner for Finance, said the given the increasing consciousness of globalization “and its effects on national economy and financial system, it’s very clear that we must take due cognizance of evolving system in global space with a view to aligning our strategy with global trend”.