Experts Chart New Path To Economic Growth At Fundquest Colloquium In Lagos | Independent Newspaper Nigeria

2024-05-04 14:23:57

Independent Newspapers Nigeria

LAGOS - The nation's economy came under searchlight as Economists, Policy analysts and Stakeholders in Nigeria's financial industry converged in Lagos on Tuesday at a Colloquium to honour Mr Bisi Oni, Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of FundQuest Financial Services Limited, on his 60th birthday.

The colloquium with a theme, "Transcending from Financialism to a productive and innovation for impactful development", featured Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, the MD/CEO of Sterling Bank, as the keynote speaker.

Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Proshare Limited; Mrs Oluwaseun Adesoye, Group CEO, Myrtle Asset Management & Trust Limited also gave their views on developing issues in the financial market and economy, while Mr. Abiodun Akinjayeju, the MD/CEO of FundQuest Financial Services Limited, moderated the discourse.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Akinjaiyeju explained that the theme of the discourse encapsulates a critical aspect of the country's economic landscape and that "as we journey into the future, it becomes increasingly clear that the role of financial institutions, particularly banks, is pivotal in fostering a conducive environment for productivity and innovation across industries."

He added that the gathering was a "call out on our banks to transcend from the perceived predatory disposition to a more symbiotic and supportive partner in national development and stop being a General Overseer that is getting fatter while the congregation is getting leaner."

In his contribution, Mr. Abubarkar, Managing Director of Sterling Bank explained that the banks are mere intermediaries for capital, to compliment other sources of capital like savings, friends/family support, venture capital and that they are not expected to play the role of a Father Christmas.

Abubabar maintained that for growth, the nation must focus of education, electricity and the issue of population explosion. "Let us get our priority right, the banks alone can not lift people out of poverty. Government must fix the problem confronting the efficient use of capital. The bottleneck at the Port in Apapa, for instance, must be fixed. Presently, it is cheaper to bring goods from China than to move it from Apapa port to Ibadan", he said.

Awoyemi on his own part maintained that banks are providers of capital and a "for profit organisation" and not quasi-public institutions, adding that banks profits are presently based on interest loans and "other incomes" which are basically forex. He also argued that the nation cannot have a mortgage institution for instance, without a saving culture and banks that focus less on the public sector and forex deals.

Tim Akano, CEO of New Horizon System Solution, submitted that without redefining the purpose of banks, Nigeria cannot develop. According to him, Trillions of naira are declared as profit yearly in a country where hundreds of companies are either folding up or in distress. "For who do the banks exit for?" Akano asked

On his part, Mr Bisi Oni advised the government to take a focus on a sector that has linkages, especially electricity. "Solve this problem because it has multiplier effect on the economy. Electricity is central, without it, you cannot build infrastructure, effective transport and excorporations. So government must solve the electricity problem and you will see so many things that will revolve around it," Oni said.

2024-05-04 News