CIBN Boss Optimistic Banks will facilitate AfCFTA success

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CIBN Boss Optimistic Banks will facilitate AfCFTA success

The President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr Bayo Olugbemi, says the banking sector in Nigeria is well capitalized to play vital role in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

“ AfCFTA became effective January this year; and what do banks do normally? The function of the bank is basically to facilitate trades and in this case, they will be ready to assist in granting credits to people that are doing trade across Africa.

“Thank God, today a lot of our banks have network of branches outside Nigeria, and so, they are in a very vantage position to be able to assist in facilitating trades including success of foreign exchange, payment for settlement of trades among others.

“ We thank God that the banks in Nigeria have very good capital base, for those of them that have branches or subsidiaries outside Nigeria, it will also help them to easily facilitate this trade across Africa much more than ever before,” Olugbemi told journalists in Lagos recently.

The trading AfCFTA, signed by 54 of the 55 countries in Africa, officially began on Jan. 1.

The agreement requires members to remove tariffs from 90 per cent of goods traded, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent.

According to International Monetary Fund (IMF), the elimination of tariffs could boost trade in Africa by 15-25 per cent in the medium term.

The agreement aims to create more than 40 trillion dollars economic bloc, connecting 1.3 billion people across Africa, which would make it the largest trading bloc since the World Trade Organisation was formed.

The deal unites an estimated 3 trillion dollars market, and could help to realise more than 84 billion dollars in untapped intra-African exports, according to a new report by the African Export-Import Bank.

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