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Wigwe: Banks should partner states on solar power

Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc., Mr. Herbert Wigwe, has tasked commercial banks to work with state governments to embrace solar power solution to resolve the country’s power issues. Wigwe made the appeal yesterday at the 13th Annual Banking & Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), at which there was a hybrid of both physical and virtual attendance.

The bank chief, who spoke on “Green Banking & Economic Growth,” lamented that Nigeria, with 200 million people, had many depending on generators. He said that Nigeria must address the power problem to achieve its growth potential and employment generation.

Wigwe also tasked the Federal Government on relevant policies that would enable businesses to thrive. According to him, banks need to provide banking solutions that will help alleviate social and economic challenges, as well as provide finance and expertise.

He said that there had been reduction in carbon emissions and increase in green technologies investment due to COVID-19 realities for sustainability in banks. Also speaking, Mrs. Oyinkan Ogungbemile, Senior Credit Risk Analyst, Rand Merchant Bank, tasked banks on green banking products. Ogungbemile said that COVID-19 had shown that banks could still operate with minimal physical presence. She called for the creation of a green bank in Nigeria that would promote green economy. Prof. Jubril Adeojo, Chief Executive Officer, SME Funds Capital, said, “It is not about post-COVID-19 recovery, it is about post- COVID-19 green recovery.” Adeojo said that banks must invest in value chain of agriculture to create jobs and ensure food sustainability.

Earlier at the two-day programme, Mr. Bayo Olugbemi, CIBN President/ Chairman of Council, said that the business continuity plan of the council under the COVID-19 challenges focused on enhancing competency and quality services to its teeming members and stakeholders. Olugbemi said that CIBN had adopted digital applications in its operations and processes. He said that the institute had been innovative in executing all its activities. The conferences, which started on Tuesday themed: “Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The Role of Banking and Finance”, was attended by over 2,500 participants from various locations across the globe.

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