By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has expressed worry that Ebonyi State ranks highest among the states in the country with about 56 per cent of its entire population having no access to financial services including owning of bank accounts.
The apex bank disclosed this during a three-day CBN fair in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, organized to launch N220 billion Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises, MSME, Development Fund.
The Assistant Director, Development Finance Department of CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisiobi noted that the whole essence of the fund is to enhance the access to finance for MSMEs, as the engine for economic development and growth.
According to him: “CBN is concerned by financial inclusion. In the South-East, 28.6 per cent are financially excluded. And 18.3 per cent of Anambra’s entire population are. The same thing with Abia. Enugu is 23 per cent and Ebonyi is 56 per cent.
“For you to access this funds, you have to go through the commercial banks, microfinance banks, financial cooperation, financial companies with interest rate of nine per cent inclusive of any charge.”