BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja And BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos –
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other agencies of government involved in the implementation of the Financial System Strategy (FSS 2020) will converge on Lagos this week to mark ten years of strategizing to bring into existence the Financial System Strategy 2020.
The objective of the event, which is billed for the Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, from Wednesday, December 6 to Thursday, December 7, 2017, is to review the status of the FSS2020 programme and deliberate on the priorities and strategies for the next three years (2018-2020), a notice from the CBN has said.
During the forum, the CBN and the various implementing agencies such as the National Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Stock Exchange, National Insurance Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, etc. are to take stock of the progress so far and address challenges in forging an international financial system.
Participants are expected to come up with an outlook for the next three years (2018-2020) and beyond in helping to evolve an economy that is one of the 20 largest economies in the world.
Highlight of the event to be declared open by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the delivery of the keynote address by the Coordinator of the FSS2020 Project Office and CBN Deputy Governor in charge of Corporate Services Directorate, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, whose tenure as Deputy Governor ends later this month.
In 2007, the CBN launched the FSS2020 aimed at calibrating the financial system as a means of ensuring economic growth and development with the view of growing the Nigerian economy to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.
Also, the apex bank has said the nation’s foreign exchange reserves added $991 million in November to close at $34.8 billion as of November 29, 2017.
In November, 2017, the nation’s foreign exchange reserves sustained its momentum with opening figure of $33.8 billion in November 1, 2017.
The foreign exchange buffer has climbed 34.7 per cent or $8.97 billion this year, but is still far off a peak of $64 billion hit in August 2008.
The price of Organization of Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of 14 crude countries gained 9.9 per cent to $60.06 per barrel as at November 30, 2017 from $53.3 it started trading early this year.
Global Oil prices continued to rally above $60 per barrel extended to new heights in 2017 with Brent crude climbing to a level last seen in mid-2015, stoking hopes in the industry that the market has finally turned a corner following a three-year slump.
An oil price recovery has been under way since June as crude demand finally starts to outpace supply, with Brent rallying by almost 40 per cent to $61 a barrel, as the global oil glut that had built up over the previous three years starts to draw down.
The CBN Governor. Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had attributed the rise in foreign reserves and domestic production to what he described as “our development finance effort and the dogged implementation of our foreign exchange policies.”