Monday, February 02, 2015 7.15AM/CBN
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has inaugurated the committee of the National Financial Inclusion Steering Committee, with a charge to members to show collective commitment to the cause of taking the country to the next level in inclusive financing.
Performing the inauguration on Thursday, January 29, 2015, Mr. Emefiele, urged the committee to set up a financial inclusion desk in their respective agencies for regular treatment of issues on financial inclusion and supply the needed data and information that will enable stakeholders to measure and monitor progress.
The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Dr. (Mrs.) Sarah Alade, said recent statistics indicated that the exclusion rate in the country had reduced to 39.5%, representing 36.9 million people. The exclusion rate for women according to him was 42.7% (21.4 million) compared with the rate of men, which stood at 35.8% (15.6 million).
Continuing, he said that the rate among those in the age bracket of 18 and 25 years was 47.8% (14.0 million), while rural people had exclusion rate of 47.8% (28.6 million).
He noted that the diverse nature of the financial services provided under the strategy (payment, savings, loans, insurance and pension) naturally required diversity of institutions (banks, informal services providers, insurance companies, pension fund administrators and capital market operators).
The steering committee comprises the CBN Governor; Minister of Finance; Minister of Communications Technology; Director General, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM); Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom); Director General Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Others are the Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS); Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Managing Director, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC); CEO, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) and Head, Financial Inclusion Secretariat.
The committee has been saddled with the responsibilities of setting an agenda to increase access to use of financial services as per the 2020 targets defined in the National Financial Inclusion Strategy and providing policy and high-level direction for stakeholders in the implementation process.
The committee is also charged to provide support and backing for performance of specific roles and responsibilities; and consider and approve financial inclusion annual reports and present same to the National Economic Council.
Present at the inauguration included the Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Chinelo Anohu-Amazu; Acting Managing Director, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Munnir Gwarzo, and Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim. All the other organizations were also represented.
While agreeing that the mandate of the committee was similar to that of the Financial Literacy committee, the meeting ratified the agreement to merge the two committees beginning from the next meeting. The committee is expected to meet three times this year, with the next two meetings slated for the months of May and September, 2015.