CeBIH pledges support for CBN’s financial inclusion

The Committee of e-Banking Industry Heads has pledged its support for the financial inclusion strategy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

CeBIH Chairman, Mr. Chuks Iku, made this pledge at the third annual conference of the committee in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

A statement by the committee quoted Iku as saying the purpose of the conference, among other things, was for e-payment stakeholders to learn new methods and strategies of pursuing the objectives of National Financial Inclusion, which is to reduce the number of adults excluded from access to financial services from 46.3 per cent to 20 per cent.

The objectives of CeBIH, he said, was to promote electronic banking and electronic payment services in line with global best practices, and promote the adoption and usage of electronic channels in a way that will bring about financial inclusion of the unbanked and under-banked.

He said the theme of the conference, ‘e-Payment Systems: Harnessing opportunities for growth and profitability,’ was informed by the need for banks and other stakeholders to seek ways to grow the use of electronic channels in a sustainable way.

Iku said, “CeBIH recognises the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria as our regulator and also that of Nigeria Interbank Settlement System. What we want is that the CBN should engage stakeholders on a more regular basis on its financial inclusion initiatives.”

The Executive Director, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System Plc, Christabel Onyejekwe, noted that while there were opportunities for growth and profitability in the e-payment industry, increased collaboration was required to harness these opportunities.

She said, “In the financial sector, we have not rested on our oars; we have always risen to the challenge of harnessing growth and opportunities, even when it seems impossible.

“As an industry, we dare to say we have contributed to building the nation, and we would continue to be a critical contributor to the GDP going forward.”