FG to tackle poverty, insecurity with national financial inclusion agenda

THE Presidency has hinted of plans by the Federal Government to tackle poverty and insecurity head on through financial inclusion for all Nigerians.

Accordingly, it said there are high-level talks to unveil a roadmap to integrate the unbanked Nigerian population into the formal financial system.

According to the Presidency, this is one of the primes in the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

Addressing journalists yesterday, ahead of a national stakeholders’ workshop on financial inclusion, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, emphasized the administration’s commitment to an all-inclusive Nigeria under the Renewed Hope Agenda.

“Economic and financial inclusion are essential components of President Tinubu’s agenda to assist in integrating the underserved and unbanked into the formal financial system. This will enable Nigerians to access a range of financial services at a reasonable cost,” Hadejia stated.

The two-day workshop, scheduled for  today and tomorrow at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, is geared at sensitising stakeholders and chart a course for accelerating financial inclusion efforts nationwide.

Hadejia added:  “Such services include transaction accounts, savings, payments, transfers, credit, pension, e-commerce, and insurance (including health insurance) within proximity to their place of work or residence. Economic security underlies the principle of financial inclusion.

“The Vice President and the Chairman of the National Council on Nutrition, Senator Kashim Shettima, is passionately committed to supporting the successful implementation of the national financial inclusion strategy.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Technical Advisor to the President on Financial Inclusion, Dr Nurudeen Abubakar Zauro, highlighted the calibre of attendees expected at the workshop.

They, according to him, include the lead paper presenter and governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso.

Zauro stated: “The CBN currently implements the financial inclusion strategy in the country. Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, will also present a lead paper on financial inclusion in Nigeria.

“We affirm the importance of subnational governments. The Chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum and Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, former CBN governor and Governor of Anambra State, Professor Charles Soludo; and the 14th Emir of Kano, His Highness, Khalifa Muhammad Sanusi II.

“We also have participation from international partners, including the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Alliance for Financial Inclusion, in addition to other players in the industry.

”In Nigeria, we have private sector players such as Fintech Associates, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) and others, including traditional rulers like the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II”.

On his part, the Director-General of Financial Inclusion Centres, Sola Bickersteth, stressed the important role of the private sector, saying “we want to closely collaborate with this government to make financial inclusion a reality for everyone.”

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