Members of the Nigeria’s Bankers Committee have reiterated their commitment to improve the living conditions of the people by chanelling financial resources to critical areas of the economy, according to a statement from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“We hereby sign this Joint Commitment Statement with the aim of developing a set of sustainable banking principles for the Nigerian banking sector, to drive long-term sustainable growth whilst focusing on development priorities, safeguarding the environment and our people, and delivering measurable benefits to society and the real economy,” the bankers said in a statement posted on the apex bank’s website on Wednesday.
The Bankers Committee comprises Chief Executive Officers of banks, financial institutions, and regulatory and supervisory agencies.
They said as leaders in the Nigerian financial sector, the Committee was uniquely positioned to further economic growth and development in Nigeria through their regulatory, lending and investment activities across a diversity of segments and sectors.
“We recognize that we have a role and responsibility to deliver positive development impacts to society whilst protecting the communities and environments in which we operate – for today’s generation as well as for future generations. We believe that such an approach, one of sustainable banking, is consistent with our individual and collective business objectives, and can stimulate further economic growth and opportunity as well as enhance inovation and competitiveness,” the statement said.
They reinstated their preparedness to take steps to ensure that business decision-making activities are consistent with applicable international standards and practices, but with due regard for the Nigerian context and distinct development needs.
They also expressed their commitment to developing and launching a voluntary set of Nigerian sustainable banking principles.
These include an over-arching set of guidelines relating to direct impacts on communities and the environment as a result of the bankers’ business operations and indirect impacts on communities and the environment as a result of lending and investment activities.
The banking principles also include a set of sector-specific guidelines, including as a first priority, oil and gas, electricity (with a focus on renewable energy); and agriculture and related water resource issues.
They also expressed commitment to raising awareness and developing meaningful and lasting local capacity to manage emerging environmental and social risks and opportunities within the Committee members’ internal operations, as well as to relevant financial sector government agencies, learning institutions and service providers.
“In developing these sustainable banking principles, we recognise the need for a process which involves the engagement of relevant stakeholders and industry
experts,” the statement said.
“We also recognise the need for an approach which provides for appropriate levels of transparency, accountability and self-assessment through regular reporting to our stakeholders,” it added