By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki

GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Tuesday called on both women and youths, especially those in the rural areas to key into the ongoing Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial programme to enable them to become self-reliant and self-sufficient in the State.

Governor Umahi stated this while flagging off the Digital Financial Inclusion Drive for Women and Youths at the Onueke Township Stadium, Ezza South Local Government Area of the state.

Represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Chinwe Okay, Umahi added that the programme would also enable them to benefit from the various Empowerment programmes of the state government.

He commended CBN and the Financial Service Providers, FSP for carrying out such initiative across Local Government Areas in the State.

In his remarks, the Director, Development Finance Department of Central Bank of Nigeria’s, CBN, Mr Philip Yila Yusuf noted that the Digital Financial Inclusion for Women and Youths in Ebonyi State was aimed at giving the bank opportunity to actively engage with unbanked populations and provide them with necessary tools for economic empowerment and inclusion.

Yusuf who was represented by the Branch Controller, CBN, Abakaliki, Mr Adayo Christopher who said that the tag line for the drive is; “Open Account, Get Beta Life noted that the proposed target for the number of persons is 25,000 at the end of the week-long drive.

He noted that throughout the week, financial services providers will be available to help unbanked women and youths to make informed decisions about products uptake which includes savings accounts, micro pensions, micro insurance, BVN registration and NIN registration amongst others.

Mr Yusuf said that the women and youths will also have opportunities to learn about investment opportunities and how to sustainably grow their finances.

According to him, “financial inclusion is also important for households and businesses because interacting with formal systems allows individuals to keep their finances safe in saving accounts”.

“It provides businesses the opportunities to access available credit opportunities, loans and encourages the habit of investment”.

Mr Yusuf said that the drive which will hold in 5 local government areas of the state will reduce some of the barriers which include long-distance to financial access points.

He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN remains committed to the growth and development of the country’s economy as witnessed by numerous development finance interventions deployed to reduce the negative effect of the COVID 19 pandemic on businesses and interventions targeted at the youths.

He said that the bank has also embarked on improving the agricultural sector through interventions aimed at improving food security in Nigeria.

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