‘How financial system has greatly evolved with FSS’
The relentless implementation of the Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS2020), despite challenges, has seen the nation’s financial system gradually evolve into transactions efficiency.
Besides, it has guided not only the key sector regulators to fast-track and enhance growth and development of Nigeria’s financial system landscape, but now an integral part of the national vision for 2020.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who made remark at the 10th anniversary Strategic Review Meeting on FSS2020, in Lagos, however said it is time to take stock and chart overall strategic direction for the next three years and beyond.
He said this has become necessary to further strengthen Nigeria’s financial system to meet the unfolding challenges in both domestic and international market.
Speaking on the progress so far, the banker said Nigeria has made significant progress since 2007 in actively reforming its financial system with initiatives that provided the platform for fundamental changes in the economy and financial landscape.
“Under financial market, Pension, MSME, Insurance and Mortgage sectors, FSS2020 has introduced some far- reaching initiatives which have helped to deepen the economy.
“Our payment system has tremendously improved. There is now a Central Bank of Nigeria Immediate Transfer Service (CBSITS) and an interbank platform for effecting payment transactions; Electronic Cheque Clearing (ECC) system allowing for a same day cheques-clearing process; Nigeria Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), which serves as an alternative means for interbank funds transfer, including the Real Time Gross Settlement system,” he said.
Emefiele noted that the mortgage sector witnessed one of the initiatives of FSS2020 with the establishment of Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC), an initiative, which the Federal Ministry of Finance embraced and drives, under a public-private partnership arrangement.
He said this was scripted to bridge the funding cost of residential mortgages and promote the availability, as well as affordability of good housing to Nigerians by increased liquidity in the market through commercial banks, primary mortgage banks, insurance companies, private equity investors and international financial institutions.
In the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) sector, the FSS2020 implementation has led to the establishment of the National Collateral Registry (NCR).
Efforts are also on to develop and implement a simplified Corporate Governance and Standards Framework for MSMEs, promote financial reporting and governance and collaborate with quality control organizations to ensure they meet national and international standards.
The pension sector, he said, has been boosted and now creating awareness on the contributory scheme and how to deploy part of the pension assets for long term infrastructure development with veritable legal framework and workable guidelines.
Already, the FSS2020 will be resubmitting to the National Assembly a Bill for establishment of specific financial consumer ombudsman to address the challenges of protection of consumers of financial services as well as the protection of the integrity of the financial system.
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