FG targets 95% financial inclusion by 2024

Ensuring no one is left behind

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said yesterday it is targeting up to 95% financial inclusion by 2024, in line with revised Financial Inclusion Strategy, according to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele disclosed this at the maiden edition of the 2022 International Financial Inclusion Conference, in Abuja.

Financial inclusion is embedded in at least six of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 1 — Eradicating poverty; SDG 2 — Zero Hunger; SDG 3 — Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 5 — Gender Equality; and SDG 8 — Economic Growth and more Jobs so that no one is left behind.

As a result, financial inclusion continues to assume increasing recognition across the globe among policymakers, researchers and development oriented agencies.

To this end, CBN Governor enjoined all stakeholders and development partners to support the initiative as the CBN has already embarked on a number measures tailored to achieve the set goals.

“I also want to task all stakeholders of financial inclusion in Nigeria to join hands together, work in collaboration and drive implementation to ensure that we achieve 95% financial inclusion as outlined in the new National Financial Inclusion Strategy,” Emefiele said.

He said this will boost economic development, particularly in the areas of poverty reduction, employment generation, wealth creation and improving welfare and general standard of living.

He recalled that about 52.2% of Nigerian adults were financially-excluded in 2008, meaning that one out of every two adults had no access to financial services.

However, as at the end of 2020, the financial exclusion rate had reduced substantially to 35.9%, adding that while this remains high when considered as absolute numbers, it is a huge improvement when compared to the 2008 position.

Our focus on leveraging digital innovations to drive financial inclusion was one of the main motivations for the launch of the eNaira, Nigeria’s digital currency.

Driving inclusion

Emefiele noted that although Nigeria has a sizeable number of banked population, the country’s financial inclusion rate was one of the lowest in the sub-region, and “more worrisome was the fact that many adults were financially-excluded.

“Youth, aged 18- 35 years, and MSMEs (which employed over 60% of Nigerians), were disproportionately excluded from access to financial products and services.”

He informed that stakeholders undertook the onerous task of driving access to finance for the benefit of the hitherto excluded segments through the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

“Our focus on leveraging digital innovations to drive financial inclusion was one of the main motivations for the launch of the eNaira, Nigeria’s digital currency.

“To ensure that the eNaira is enabled for financial inclusion, a USSD channel for eNaira was created,” Emefiele added.

Also speaking, CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Aisha Ahmad, said the significant highlight of the revised Financial Inclusion Strategy is the need to achieve the 95% target by 2024.

The Minister, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, said to accelerate economic growth and development, the administration has provided the enabling policy environment for financial inclusion initiatives to yield the expected results.

Her Majesty, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, who is also the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance for Development, joined the event virtually.

She urged all the stakeholders to encourage a coordinated approach in tackling financial inclusion by working together with the CBN and the Federal Government.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

Mines ministry exceeds 2022 target, to hit N10bn by December

Next Post

Nigeria’s GDP growth slows to 2.25% in Q3, 2022

Related Posts