By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Secretary to the Oyo State Government, (SSG) Alhaji Olalekan Alli on Thursday said the state government is ready to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiative in actualizing the 80% Financial Inclusion rate by the year 2020.
The SSG stated this in Ibadan while declaring open the inaugural meeting of Financial Inclusion State Steering Committee (FISSCO) meeting held at the CBN Office,
Alhaji Alli emphasized that the time has come for members of the FISSCO to at all times see their assignment to call to service by devoting their time and resources to this course for the benefit of the general people and the entire country.
He lauded the CBN for its efforts towards recognising the importance of the State Government in addressing the critical issue of financial inclusion that has continued to assume a global dimension, saying, “it is very important for every stakeholder to contribute to the success of this laudable initiative to further advance the economy of our country, Nigeria as well as the well-being of our people.”
“Globally, policy makers have turned their attention to financial inclusion as a veritable tool of development and have therefore seen it as a development priority. The relevance of the attention is the realization that financial inclusion can help poor households improve their lives and spur economic activity.”he said.
Alhaji Alli maintained that “one of the ways of helping the masses is to ensure that people, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid have adequate access to financial services in a convenient and affordable manner”.
He added that this will go a long way in empowering the citizens especially the vulnerable groups such as youth, women and the rural dwellers which are always at the receiving end, adding that the CBN and other financial institutions should strengthen cooperative and thrift societies and associations to enable wider access to capital by stakeholders and our neighborhood industries to further expand their coast and enrich our country’s economy.
According to the SSG, doing this will facilitate the actualization of the target of 80% financial inclusion by the year 2020.
The Branch Controller, CBN Ibadan, Mr. Mustafa Olatinwo in his remarks said the Nigeria National Financial Inclusion Strategy was launched to reduce the percentage of adult Nigerians excluded from access to financial services from 46.3% in 2010 to 20% in 2020.
Mr Olatinwo stressed that “the main aim of the target is that 80% or more of adult population should have access to the use of financial services with at least 70% of the number in the formal sector.”, adding that the cross-cutting and diverse nature of the targeted services require collaborative efforts by stakeholders in the financial sector especially at the grassroots.
He stated that financial service providers at the state level are pertinent to achieving at least 80% inclusion of adult population by the year 2020 and that the CBN has evolved an appropriate governance arrangement for the implementation of the NFIS at the state level.
While tasking members of the committee to support the state level arrangement in order to achieve the objectives.he said
FISSCO would now take the responsibility for achieving those targets at the grassroots.