By Obinna Chima
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele has said that if well tackled, Nigeria’s current economic challenges can pave the way to future prosperity for the country.
This, he said was the reason why the federal government and the central bank are constantly formulating and re-evaluating policies they believe would set the country on the path of greater economic prosperity.
This is as he disclosed that losses due to cybercrimes across all sectors were estimated globally to hover between $400 – $550 billion in 2015. The figure, he said could rise to $2 trillion by the end of 2019.
“This amount is more than the annual GDP of most individual nations, including Nigeria. Here at home, we are not spared of losses due to cybercrimes and the global trend ought to alarm us about the gravity of this problem,” he added.
Emefiele said this in a keynote address delivered at the 35th Quarterly General Meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria, in Lagos yesterday.
“Where and when necessary, we must remain bold and persistent, and never afraid to try new ideas, as these are major requirements in a time of change. That is why I am confident that Nigeria will overcome our current challenges. But, I suspect that we can only overcome these challenges if we are ready to make fundamental change in many of our attitudes, orientations and practices,” said Emefiele whose speech was read by his Special Adviser on Financial Markets, Emmanuel Ukeje.
He added: “Nigeria is at a crucial point in its financial history. The economy is in recession. The price of oil, which is our main source of foreign exchange earnings and government revenue, has significantly reduced, and may remain so for a long time.
“Money is scare for most citizens. Regrettably, because our economy is still largely import-dependent, this fuels the general rise in the prices of goods and services. Hence, there is a noticeable decline in the purchasing power of the people. Indeed, there are many challenges. But, I also see opportunities.”
According to him, Change is the categorical imperative of the moment. This, he said applies to the central bank – as the nation’s lender of last resort and the banking sector regulator; to commercial banks, and other financial institutions – as financial entities and fiduciary intermediary agencies; and even from members of the public.
“For you as internal auditors, the changes may seem slow or rapid; they may be merely procedural or at times they may be radical. Whatever may be the case, the cumulative effect of change is to alter the business environment in which you serve.
“As a concomitant, you must also upgrade your capacities, operations and methods. If you do not do that, you will become victims of change. The banking industry is built on people. It is driven by services and technology. People and organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Their needs are more diverse and so are the services and the technologies to meet those needs. Indeed, technology is dramatically changing the face and environment of banking. Transactions of high volume and value are consummated with the click of a button,” Emefieleadded.