The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has announced that as part of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, more attention will be given to women, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and to the northern part of the country in order to achieve 20% financial exclusion target by 2020.

This was made known by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele in the National Financial Inclusion Strategy report for 2018.

“In order to meet the NFIS target of 20 per cent financial exclusion for adults by 2020, the strategy has been refocused to explore five priority themes of youth, women, rural areas, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and the northern region.

“These priority areas are expected to close identified gaps and tremendously advance financial inclusion. Emphasis will also be placed on the use of technological tools in improving access to finance among the underserved.

[READ MORE: CBN to banks: Digitise services to support banking supervision, regulatory compliance]

“Consequently, a stakeholder-driven implementation approach would give impetus to the achievement of the targeted outcomes. I am optimistic that the fundamental building blocks for incremental growth have already been laid.”

Business day

Improved financial exclusion: Emefiele stated that the financial exclusion rate of adults has progressively improved from 46.3% in 2010 to 41.6% in 2016 and 36.8% in 2018 as against the NFIS target of 20.0% by 2020.

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According to Emefiele in the National Financial Inclusion Strategy report, there has been an improvement in the macroeconomic environment such as stable exchange rate, monetary and financial stability, this had fostered a conducive environment for financial inclusion to thrive, particularly in the underserved segments of the country in recent times.

More details: The report also disclosed that the CBN and the Body of Bank Chief Executive Officers had unveiled the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility as a medium-term intervention facility.

This, it said, was geared towards leading the CBN-licensed Super Agents and Mobile Money Operators to fund the expansion of a Shared Agent Network and deploy agent banking facilities in underserved and financially excluded locations across the country.

Guidelines for licensing and regulation of Payment Service Banks by the CBN were also released to enable selected companies, licensed as the PSBs, to provide payment and remittance services, issue debit and prepaid cards.

[READ MORE: CBN grants approval for banks to debit accounts of loan defaulters]

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