WELCOME ADDRESS BY MR. ADEBAYO A. ADELABU, DEPUTY GOVERNOR (CORPORATE SERVICES) OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, AT THE 21st SEMINAR FOR FINANCE CORRESPONDENTS & BUSINESS EDITORS, HELD AT WANIQ EVENT CENTER, IBADAN, OYO STATE FROM 7th to 10th FEBRUARY, 2016.\r\nPROTOCOL\r\nIt is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to Ibadan, the “City at the Edge of the Savannah” for the 21st edition of the annual seminar organized for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in Nigeria. \r\nThe seminar series, which started in 1996, aims at fostering a good and healthy working relationship between the Bank and the media. It provides a conducive and enabling atmosphere for educating and improving the capacity of finance correspondents and business editors, so as to correctly interpret and report on contemporary economic and financial issues, as well as CBN policies and initiatives.\r\nAs you may recall, less than a year ago, majority of us in this hall today also gathered in Calabar, Cross River State, for the 20th edition of the seminar. I am pleased to let you know that we are interfacing with you again in such a short while because the Management of the Bank, in its desire to engage more with the Fourth Estate of the Realm, approved that the Annual FICAN seminar should now be held biannually. \r\nThe objective of the CBN Management in taking this decision is simple: To apprise the media of the thinking behind the decisions taken by the Bank in ensuring the delivery of price and financial system stability as well as promoting sustainable economic development. Our goal is to adequately educate and inform our distinguished friends in the media and in the process deepen their knowledge base. By so doing, we are confident that you will be better armed to rightly inform the generality of Nigerians. \r\n\r\nBefore going any further, I wish to at this point commend the Nigerian media for supporting the policies of the CBN in the face of extreme local and international pressures from vested interests. Like in every other part of the world, information is a very valuable commodity. A whole lot could go wrong when people do not have access to the right pieces of information, particularly about the economy. \r\nDistinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, in recent times, some sections of the media have been critical of the role of the CBN in real sector financing. Their arguments suggest that the Central Bank of Nigeria has delved out of its traditional role of monetary policy regulation into areas of fiscal constitutional role of monetary policy regulation. \r\nIt is in view of this that the Bank chose the theme: “CBN Real Sector Financing: A Catalyst for Economic Growth and Development” to let participants into the core principles behind the actions of the CBN to act a financial catalyst in targeted sectors of the economy with humongous potentials for creating jobs and reducing the country’s import bills in a very significant manner. \r\nOver the course of the next few days, different perspectives will be presented on the theme by our assemblage of facilitators carefully selected from the media, the academia, international financial institution, the banking sector and the CBN. \r\nKnowing full well that our payment systems, particularly the issues of Bank Verification Number (BVN) and recent restrictions on use of payment cards abroad, have generated some controversy lately, we have also requested the Director, Payments System at the CBN to be with us at this seminar, to shed more light on the burning issues.\r\nWe are optimistic that this forum would serve as an ideal platform to stimulate and reinforce national discussions on all the issues.\r\n\r\nWithout doubt, we look forward to lively discussions at this seminar. It is my sincere hope that the gathering of media minds today will deepen the knowledge base of participants and further expose them to the fundamental issues, challenges and prospects of real sector financing and the attendant impact on economic growth and development. \r\nI therefore urge you to open your minds to the presentations to be delivered by our distinguished facilitators. \r\nDistinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, at this point, I want to thank our resource persons for honoring our invitation in spite of their tight schedules. My appreciation also goes to Departmental Directors, the Host Branch and other Branch Controllers present for their support. In addition, I would like to appreciate the Director and staff of the Corporate Communications Department for their consistency and contributions in ensuring the successful organization of this event over the years. More importantly, I wish to thank our esteemed participants from the media for coming.\r\nOnce again I welcome and wish you all fruitful deliberations.\r\nThank you for your attention and God bless.\r\n\r\nMr. Adebayo A. Adelabu\r\nDeputy Governor (Corporate Services)\r\nCentral Bank of Nigeria

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