2012 Report to explore country’s plans for boosting lending

Nigeria must focus on rebuilding its reserves and stabilising the exchange rate to protect against further fall-out from global economic uncertainty, according to the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi.

Sanusi acknowledged that a drive to replenish the country’s Excess Crude Account, which remains depleted following the 2009 drop in oil prices, would require political will. He also told the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) that the country’s economic development would benefit from greater private sector involvement.

The full interview with Sanusi will appear in The Report: Nigeria 2012, the Group’s forthcoming guide on the country’s economic activity and investment opportunities. The third-anniversary report will include a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for foreign investors, alongside a wide range of interviews with the most prominent political, economic and business leaders, including the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, the UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment and former Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings Lord Green and the CEO of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Ernest Nwapa.

Sanusi was confident that steps taken to recapitalise Nigeria’s banks and put their balance sheets in order meant they were now well placed to play their part in boosting lending.

He added that the ‘Cashlite’ programme, which forms a key component in Nigeria’s efforts to reduce the volume of cash in circulation, was scheduled to be rolled out across the country at the beginning of 2013 following its introduction this year in the capital city. “The roll-out over 2012 has been focused on Lagos as, given its proximity to the landing points of fibre-optic cables, it is ideally positioned for technological adoption,” he said. “Instant electronic transfers have been enabled, interconnectivity between ATMs is ensured and mobile banking licences have been issued.”

The Report: Nigeria 2012 will mark the culmination of more than six months of on-the-ground research by a team of analysts from the Group. It will provide information on opportunities for foreign direct investment into the country’s economy and will act as a guide to the many facets of the country including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and sectoral developments. The Report: Nigeria 2012 will be available in print form or online.