The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will implement a Financial Literacy Framework in the first quarter of 2013 to enhance financial inclusion of the unbanked. Mrs Umma Dutse, Director of Consumer Protection Office (CPO), CBN, said this in Lagos.
Dutse said that the proposed implementation would enhance consumer protection and lead to higher financial inclusion of the unbanked. The CBN, had in June, said that the proposed implementation of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy was to reduce the number of Nigerians who had no access to financial services. It also said that it planned to reduce the unbanked from 46.3 percent to 20 percent by 2020.
CBN said that priority was being given to designing of the framework to educate Nigerians and improve their understanding of financial products. It is also to develop their skills and confidence to become more aware of financial risks and opportunities. Dutse said that the plan was as a result of complaints from consumers of financial products of the banks.
She said that CBN has created the CPO in the Financial Policy and Regulatory Department to enhance its responsibility of consumer protection and make it more efficient and effective. The director said it has received and treated over three thousand complaints since the creation of the department. According to her, this gave rise to refunds of over six billion naira by the banks as at October, 2012.
She said that CBN, in collaboration with other financial service regulators, had promoted the Nigerian Financial Ombudsman Bill (NOFB). Dutse said that the bill was before the National Assembly and urged stakeholders to ensure its early passage. She said that the bill would in no small measure promote financial inclusion.