In line with global standards and sustainable banking standards, the Central Bank of Nigeria on July 22, 2017 developed the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) which was approved by the Bankers Committee. This is to address the need for an international yet country specific standard for financial performance.
In 2017, ThistlePraxis began a research into the 5-year performance of the NSBP with the aid of respondents from key local and international stakeholder groups and organisations. Today, the report reviews the objectives of the NSBP vis à vis achievements within the five years of its adoption. Consequently, the report also suggests feasible improvement strategies to ensure the sustained impact of The Principles on the Nigerian financial sector.
Here is what Ten (10) of the major findings reveal:
- 88 percent of respondent banks have adopted the NSBP; ·
- 86 percent of respondents are satisfied with the role of the CBN in the adoption process;
- Principles Four (4) and Six (6) – Women Economic Empowerment and E&S Governance, respectively, have recorded the most success in implementation;
- Principles Two (2) and One (1) – Environmental and Social Footprint and Environmental and Social Risk Management, respectively, have proven most challenging to implement for respondent institutions;
- Lack of infrastructure and limited resources are the major challenges expressed by the institutions and expert bodies, as facing proper implementation;
- 86 percent of NSBP signatory banks have submitted at least one report to the CBN after their dates of adoption; ·
- 81 percent of respondents reported that the NSBP is relevant for their type of institution (commercial, microfinance or development finance); ·
- 80 percent of respondent banks have realised some form of benefits from their implementation of the NSBP and relevant investments; ·
- Only 33 percent of respondents are convinced that the current economic situation of the country has affected/affects their implementation of the NSBP, majorly in the form of reductions in budgetary allocation;
- 67 percent of respondent banks and the CBN Sustainable Banking Office disagree on the call for a review of the principles;
The full report can be found here
The NSBP was envisioned to enhance the success of financial institutions whilst also ensuring that they remain environmentally and socially responsible. Not only these, there was a strong hope in the Principles’ capacity to ‘clean up’ some areas in banking operations and ensure the sustainability of the sector, especially after the series of banking crises experienced in the country.