… Policy will reduce poverty by 20 percent – SSG
With a drive targeted at reducing income inequality and boosting economic growth, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday launched a financial inclusion policy in Delta State.
A Financial Inclusion State Steering Committee (FISSCO) was inaugurated as an engine to galvanise the policy in the state.
Secretary to the State Government, Rt. Hon. Festus Agas, who inaugurated the Financial Inclusion State Steering Committee (FISSCO) in a ceremony held at Asaba branch of the CBN, applauded the initiative which he said is targeted at reducing national adult financial exclusion rate in Nigeria to 20% by the year 2020.
Recall that, the Nigerian National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) was launched on 23rd October, 2012 and the overall target is to reduce the percentage of adult Nigerians, excluded from access to financial services from 46.3% in 2010 to 20% in 2020.
Agas said the focus of the FISSCO are youth, women and the rural dwellers who are always at the receiving end.
“As we all know, the task of increasing access to financial services for the poor should be pursued by all stakeholders. These includes: financial services providers, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and as well as Local Government Councils who are closer to the people.”
“A common platform need to be created to enable the identified stakeholders to contribute towards addressing issues that surrounds the implementation of National Financial Inclusion Strategy, and achieve enhanced access of all state residents. This platform is what is now christened “Financial Inclusion State Steering Committee” (FISSCO).”
The SSG stated that though contributions of the FISSCO members may differ, the overall objective should be to ensure that the less privileged masses at the grassroots have adequate access to financial services. “With God on our side, we shall succeed and our country shall achieve its target of 20% exclusion by the year 2020.”
CBN Controller, Delta State Branch, Mr Ikeghagu Hyacinth in his remarks said the broader aim of the target is to enable 80% or more of adults Nigerians to have access to and make use of financial services, and at least 70% of that number in the formal sector.
He said the cross-cutting and diverse nature of the targeted services requires collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in the financial sector especially at the grassroots, hence, the need to work alongside with State actors in the financial service industry to vigorously drive the national goal of ensuring at least 80% inclusion of adult population by the year 2020.
“As we speak, the Bank is working on initiatives that are targeted at North East, North West and North Central zones of the country where the exclusion rates are still very high. We intend to hold stakeholder’s workshops in those parts of the country to drill down on strategic measures that will give us quick results. We are also working on developing non-interest financial products for the region. We are conceptualizing ways and means to reach out to women whose culture and religion require specialized products and channels. We remain committed to reaching out to everybody with appropriate financial products, even in the Southern part of the country where significant progress was achieved over the last 2 years.” He stated.