By Emem Idio – Yenagoa
BAYELSA State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has advised rural dwellers in the state that the only way they can benefit from the various governments micro credit and empowerment programmes and be financially included is by having valid bank accounts.
Diri gave the advice at Kaiama Town, headquarters of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, Monday, while flagging off the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Digital Financial Inclusion Drive for women and youths in the state.
The governor who encouraged the rural dwellers in the state to take advantage of the CBN financial inclusion drive to open their bank accounts, noted that the present administration in the state has various financial and empowerments programmes, and others in partnership with the federal government, which can only be access through a bank account.
Diri, who was represented by a Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Anthony Orwells, said, ” There are a number of empowerment programmes, a number of them the state government is in partnership with with the CBN and other federal institutions while some of them are entirely by the state government.
“However, you will need a bank account to be financially included through a bank account, hence the need to encourage financial inclusion to ensure everyone including the rural dwellers benefits and is carried along in the scheme of things.”
In his speech, the Director Development Finance Department of the CBN, Yusuf Yila Anthony, said the nation’s apex bank has discovered that most rural dwellers could not be captured for various empowerment initiatives because of bank accounts, which necessciated financial inclusion drive.
Represented by the Head of Development Finance, CBN Yenagoa branch, Mrs Augustina Osuya, explained that the financial inclusion drive is expected to, among other things, improve financial literacy and build awareness on the benefits of the use of digital financial services and contribute to increased access to payments, savings and credit enhancement opportunities for rural women and youth across the country leveraging digital platforms.
He pointed out that the scheme is aimed at empowering and bringing more women and youth across Nigeria into the finance ecosystem, in line with the CBN digital financial inclusion project.
While calling on the rural women and youths to grab the opportunity to open their bank accounts, he urged financial institutions to join and take the exercise seriously to bring all financially excluded on board.
In her remark, the Woman Leader of Kaiama Mrs Tonbra Egbegi, commended the CBN for bringing the initiative to their doorsteps and saying that the drive will give the rural women and youth the opportunity to open their bank accounts conveniently without having to travel to the state capital.