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Business News of Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Source: thecable.ng

Osinbajo asks banks to finance housing, renewable energy projects

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked the banking sector to finance housing and renewable energy projects.

The vice president described such projects as transformative, adding that they would significantly impact job creation and poverty reduction.

Osinbajo said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening session of the 14th annual banking and finance conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

“It is time for the sector to take on some of the transformative big-ticket items that would fundamentally transform our economy. Such matters include consumer finance but housing finance in particular,” the VP said.

Encouraging the industry to participate in the FG’s mass housing programme, Osinbajo said “the finance sector appears shy or simply has not found the right housing finance model that will work.”

On renewable energy and mitigating the impact of climate change, Osinbajo explained that one of the considerations, especially for developing countries, was how to pay for the massive transition to renewable energy.

“How do we pay for moving from where we are, especially fossil fuel-based power sources to renewable energy? This is a significant challenge but it is also an enormous opportunity,” he said.

Citing an example of a renewable energy project, the VP decried the low interest shown by commercial banks to catalyse installations or manufacturing for Solar Power Naija, the federal government’s solar power initiative.

He lamented that the problem of under-electrification of the rural areas and the associated impacts on economic well-being and security cannot be overstated.

“I would like to encourage the bankers’ committee to refocus on supporting the Solar Power Naija to ensure that in the next few months we can catalyse access to the N140 billion and create 5 million connections that can multiply to eliminating our electricity access deficit and creating jobs,” he said.

The VP, who commended the banking and finance sector, also noted that it must take advantage of the new opportunities and adapt to domestic and international developments.

“The rapid changes in the technology sector mean that financial technology companies and payment service companies are now an inescapable part of the banking and financial landscape,” he added.