Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the launch of Nigeria’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, where he represented President Goodluck Jonathan said “lack of access to financing has been one of the major factors militating against our economic growth and development.”
He further stated that such programme as the Financial Inclusion Strategy was aimed at addressing such factors, adding that it would not only facilitate job and wealth creation but would also propel the country into one of the largest economies in the world by the year 2020, stressing that “this administration remains committed to ensuring that the atmosphere is right for Nigerians to find gainful employment, especially the youth and women.”
Arc Sambo, stated that to further position the private sector for economic development, government had made considerable inroad in the areas of agriculture, power, transportation, security and access to affordable financing for Small and Medium Enterprises among others.
The Federal Government while commending the CBN for the initiative also charged the local banks to “emulate this gesture and develop capacity to participate in supporting the real sector in Nigeria,” stressing that “we must make finance easily accessible to our people. It is a task that must be done.”
In her remarks Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, who is also a global champion for financial inclusion, stated that the initiative would change the future of millions of Nigerians, adding that Nigeria had joined 16 other countries that have already developed their own Financial Inclusion Strategy. She used the opportunity to call for dedicated implementation of the Strategy and for the involvement of all stakeholders in the implementation process.
Earlier the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi stated that the initiatives was to reduce the number of Nigerians that are financially excluded, which according to him was about 46.3 per cent of Nigeria’s adult population. He noted that the strategy provides the roadmap for the activities of all stakeholders in the provision of financial services in the country. He added that the strategy also aims to reduce the exclusion rate to 20.0 percent by year 2020 as committed to in the Maya Declaration in 2011.
Present at the occasion were the Deputy Governors of Kaduna and Niger States, Alhaji Ramallan Yero and Alhaji Ahmed Musa Ibeto. Others present were the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina and other top government officials.