The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday said it was ready to invest in the Information and Communication Technology in order to stimulate economic growth and development.
It expressed optimism that with the availability of coronavirus vaccines coupled with economic stimulus it engendered in the system, the nation’s economy would bounce back soon.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said these at the CBN Special Day at the 32nd Enugu International Trade Fair.
He said the ICT sector emerged as a significant source of resilience in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the economy by contributing over 17.8 per cent to the GDP growth by the end of 2020.
Represented by the acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, Emefiele said the growth of startups in the fintech and health care space rose in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the CBN was pushing other banks to consider viable IT firms that had the potential to not only serve the needs of the local market but are also able to export ICT related services to countries across the world .
“With the ICT start ups emerging to support SMEs, farmers and providing quality learning to students, itnis important that we continue to leverage ICT as an enabler for growth in key sectors of the economy” he said.
Nwanisobi also noted that the CBN had made efforts to restore stability to the economy by aiding households and businesses that had been affected by the pandemic following threats posed by the COVID-19 virus.
In his address, President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agricultural, Emeka Nwandu, commended the CBN and the Banker’s Committee for their efforts in ensuring that affordable credit facilities were made available to the SMEs.
He however expressed worries with the process of disbursement which had been very low and slow since the second quarter of 2020.