FICAN Summit: CBN, NSIA To Lead Discussions On Infrastructure, SME Financing

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) will be leading discussions at a summit on Infrastructure, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) financing, organized by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN).

The summit is part of activities marking the 30th Anniversary celebration and 2021 Annual Conference of the Association.

A statement signed by the Chairman of FICAN, Chima Nwokoji, 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.”

The conference is expected to bring together leaders in the banking, technology, SMEs fields, including regulators and government agencies as they explore areas Nigeria can mobilize funds for infrastructure development and upgrade.

The statement read in part: “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.”

Nwokoji 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.

According to the statement, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning,  Zainab Ahmed, is expected to give opening remarks while, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, will deliver the keynote address.

The Managing Director NSIA, Uche Orji, will be the guest speaker while Panelists will include: Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director, Heritage Bank; Managing Director FMDQ, Bola Onadele-Koko, Director General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha; Managing Director Fidelity Bank, Nneka Onyeali Ikpe, officials of the CBN, Managing Director NSIA, 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 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  over  150  finance  journalists  and business editors, covering money market, capital market and the Insurance industry, from the print, online and electronic media,” the statement noted.

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