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HomeCompany NewsAt Oriental News financial inclusion conference, experts x-ray success of CBN scheme

At Oriental News financial inclusion conference, experts x-ray success of CBN scheme

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The Chief Executive of APT Securities and Funds Limited, Garba Kurfi has lauded the financial inclusion programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), noting that the scheme has helped provide support for entrepreneurial initiatives in the country.

Kurfi, who spoke at the inaugural conference of Oriental News Nigeria with the theme “Engaging with critical groups to develop effective financial inclusion initiative” which was held on Thursday in Lagos noted that the financial inclusion policy of the government helps to ensure that funds that could have been deployed for entrepreneurial initiatives don’t end up in cupboards at homes.

Kurfi in his presentation said that the government is recording remarkable progress in the financial inclusion target, adding that more hands are on deck to ensure that economic advantage of the country’s large population translates to financial benefits for the people and institutions.

The government, he stated has designed financial support initiatives for rural women, artisans, petty traders, and the financially disadvantaged, which can only be extended to only people who operate bank accounts.

Kurfi was the guest speaker at the event and was represented by the Managing Director/CEO of ARM Securities Limited, Rotimi Edu.

He said that funds are aggregated through savings in banks, investments in capital market or taking policies in insurance companies, such funds are further deployed to catalyze economic development through lending or for institutional growth.

Earlier in her opening address, Editor Oriental News Nigeria, Yemisi Izuora said that the conference was conceived by Stanmeg  Communications, publishers of Oriental News Nigeria after a painstaking study of the progress and prospects of financial inclusion policy in the country since its inception in 2012.

“The conference is being organised given that in the past couple of years, the federal government and stakeholders in the financial sector have had to deal with expanding financial services to large communities of underserved populations and dealing with resilience challenges brought about by confluence of events that have taken place”  Izuora stated.

Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD) David O. Anyaele in his contributions called on the federal government as well as the CBN to expand the nation’s financial inclusion policy to include provisioning for the disabled people in the society.

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He bemoaned the sustained lack of consideration for the disabled in the Nigerian financial system through different kinds of neglect and rights denials.

Anyaele stated that audit of bank branches across the country showed the total absence or lack of access and convenience facilities for the disabled.

He admonished prevailing attitudes of the financial systems against the disabled, describing it as a major institutional barrier to financial inclusion.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN), Uju Ogubunka stated that the financial inclusion policy has significantly reduced the number and percentage of adult Nigerians who are excluded from the formal Financial System of the country.

Ogubunka said that the government targeted to achieve 20 per cent financial inclusion by the year 2020 out of the 84 per cent financially excluded population.

“The adult population has now increased above 84 per cent and the unbanked population has also increased remarkably. If the people are outside the financial system, the economy will not develop” Ogubunka stated.

He explained that financial inclusion commences with opening bank account, which factors in the account holder towards benefiting from all forms of government financial support as the account drives all other transactions of the account holder.

“As some of us will remember, the CBN initiated the National Financial Inclusion Programme in the year 2012 that is, about a decade ago. The Programme is kind of a response to the discovery from a study in 2010 that about 39.2 million or 46.3 per cent of the then 84.7 million adult population in the country were excluded from the formal Nigerian Financial System.

“That meant that 45.5 million or 53.7 per cent of the 84.7 million were included in the system. It was also noted that of the excluded 39.2 million adult Nigerians, about 21.3 million or 54.4 per cent were females; meaning that about 17.9 million (i.e. 45.6 per cent) were males.

“So, females accounted for a higher number and percentage of the excluded than males. On the other hand, males accounted for a higher number and percentage of those included in the Nigerian Financial System.” he stated.

The initiative targeted a reduction of the rate of the excluded from 46.3 per cent to 20 per cent come the year 2020. ( i.e. a reduction of 26.3 per cent), meaning that the percentage of the included would rise to 80 per cent from 53.7 per cent within the same period.”

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