Nigeria: CBN and IFC Forge Strategic Alliance to Strengthen Nigeria’s Private Sector

CBN and IFC Forge Strategic Alliance to Strengthen Nigeria’s Private Sector
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have embarked on a strategic partnership to foster private sector growth in Nigeria. This collaboration was announced late Thursday following a visit by an IFC delegation, led by Managing Director Makhtar Diop, to CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso.

Nigeria, which holds the second-largest IFC portfolio in Africa, boasts an active investment portfolio of $2.1 billion as of April 2024. The CBN highlighted the significance of this partnership through its X handle (formerly Twitter), underscoring its potential impact on the country’s economic development.

“The leadership of the CBN and IFC convened a pivotal meeting to discuss strategies for bolstering Nigeria’s economy in line with the IFC’s mission to bridge infrastructure gaps, develop productive industries, and promote inclusive business practices,” the CBN stated.

Key areas of discussion included expanding access to credit, facilitating trade receivables for SMEs, and enhancing local currency liquidity solutions. Both institutions aim to invigorate Nigeria’s banking sector by developing financial products tailored to the country’s specific needs and catalyzing the broader financial ecosystem.

President Bola Tinubu also emphasized the importance of international development financiers viewing Africa as a land of opportunity and growth. He highlighted the continent’s potential to contribute significantly to global peace, stability, and economic development.

“The IFC and the World Bank need to view Africa through a lens of growth and potential. I am pleased that an African leads the IFC, as they understand that the potential for growth, peace, stability, and prosperity lies here. The world must see us as contributors to global progress, not as a continent plagued by instability and leadership challenges,” Tinubu asserted.

President Tinubu advocated for a shift in global perceptions, urging the world to see Africa as a region brimming with opportunities rather than as a source of risk. This change in perspective, he argued, could spur growth and promote inclusiveness across the continent.

During the visit, the IFC engaged in productive discussions with Nigerian partners to enhance various sectors, including agriculture and transportation. A notable outcome was a $23.3 million loan agreement with Johnvents Industries Limited, aimed at advancing Nigeria’s cocoa sector and fostering economic development through agricultural transformation.

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