The Head, Financial Inclusion Secretariat at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Akin-FadeyiTemitope has said the central bank has outlined strategies to achieve 80 per cent financial inclusion by 2020. Temitope, who stated this during a one-day National Financial Inclusion Strategy workshop held in Kano yesterday, pointed out that most Nigerians in the rural areas do not have access to banking system, especially savings account.
According to her, financial inclusion, “is achieved when adult Nigerians have easy access to a broad range of financial services that meet their needs ataffordable costs. The primary services include payments, savings, loans, insurance and pension.” She further explained that the National Financial Approval Strategy was launched by PresidentGoodluck Jonathan two years ago.
“Specifically, that strategy focuses on reducing the percentage of adult Nigerians that do not have access to formal financial sector.” She further stated “Kano is a big potential market for Nigeria. Kano is the centre of commerce because there are a lot of opportunities here. So we believe that the people of Kano should benefit from these services.”
Temitope revealed that CBN was determined to reduce the percentage of adult Nigerians who do not have access to financial services from the 39.7 percent it stood in 2012 to 20 per cent by 2020, just as she blamed the spate of the increased unbanked population in the country to economic incapability, lack of access to financial services and low income rate.
According to her, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy campaign was designed to empower people to have access to financial services. He disclosed that the central bank has concluded plans to make financial services less sophisticated so as to include even uneducated Nigerians such as farmers, market women and artisans.
Also speaking at the event, CBN’s branch Head of Micro Finance in Kano, Alhaji Abdulkadir Ahmed noted that microfinance banks have great role to play towards ensuring that financial inclusion strategy campaign gets to the people at the grassroots. Ahmed however lauded Kano State Government for ensuring the establishment of microfinance banks in the 44 local government areas across the state, pointing out that this would go a long way to ensure the inclusion of the rural people to broad-range financial services.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of Kano state Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Muhammad Auwal urged the CBN to enlighten the general public, particularly, those in the rural areas on the need to patronise the banks in order for them to be financial included and economically empowered.