NCC Calls For Broader Partnership To Achieve Financial Inclusion Objectives

Yemisi Izuora

The Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has called for broader collaboration of relevant government agencies to fully achieve the set objectives of the Federal Governments Financial Inclusion objectives.

The NCC, reiterated that the best approach towards benefitting from globalised digital economy is to be financially conclusive.

The EVC, stated this at the inaugural conference of Oriental News Nigeria with theme “Engaging with critical groups to develop effective financial inclusion initiative” which held on Thursday at the Sheraton hotel Ikeja Lagos.

Danbatta, who was represented by Mrs Freda Ruth Bruce-Bennet, Deputy Director , Digital Economic Department, NCC stated that the NCC in it pursuit to ensure that more Nigerians are included financially, is committed to training and retraining of youths IT experts, Hackathons, and establishing Hubs across the country to ensure steady and speedy expansion of financial inclusion policy to benefit every strata of the society.

The EVC, said that without effective skills committed to driving the process, digitalisation of the through the financial services ecosystem would have been retarded.

The Commissioner for Insurance, of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, Mr Sunday Thomas, on his part assured Nigerians that the micro insurance schemes established by the Commission, through licencing of some companies to operate in the segment is focused at ensuring that Nigerians at the grassroots level are not left out of the budding Nigerian financial enterprise.

Represented at the conference by Rasaaq Salami, Deputy Director/Head Corporate Communications & market Development NAICOM, Thomas said that micro insurance provides the leeway to protecting your property, safeguarding your belongings from damages or loss and ensuring you do not suffer loss when the unexpected damage or loss occures.

It also safeguards traders or businesses of artisans and petty traders whenever they wares are destroyed, damaged or stolen.

“ Micro insurance is a way of safeguarding your property or business from any unforeseen event,and when it happens, what ever loss you ensured against will be reimbursed you” the commissioner for Insurance assured on financial inclusion.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), equally reiterated its commitments to ensure every segment of the society is covered in the ongoing financial inclusion initiative of the Federal Government.

The SEC assured that more Nigerians are captured in the digitalisation of the economy through the financial inclusion policy.

Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda assured that with the help of the fast growing Fintech penetration in the economy and financial systems, more Nigerians will be captured and be more protected to effectively navigate the nation’s financial systems, through the enabling channels, including the capital market, insurance and savings.

Represented at the conference by SA’ Adatu A Faruk, Head Financial Inclusion Division, Market Development Department SEC, the SEC DG said that the commission has created new standards and rules for registration and operations of FINTECH firms in the market to ensure compliance with global standard and adequate protection of investments.

The SEC DG reassured that the licenced Fintech companies will further speedy financial inclusion policy of the federal government, as well as ensuring adequate protection for their financial/ investment transactions.

Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD) David O. Anyaele however called on the federal government as well as the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) to expand the nation’s financial inclusion policy to include provisioning for the disabled people in the society.

He bemoaned the sustained lack of considerations for the disabled in the Nigerian financial system through different kinds of neglect and rights denials.

Anyaele stated that audit of bank branches across the country showed the total absence or lack of access and convenience facilities for the disabled.

He admonished prevailing attitudes of the financial systems against the disabled, describing it as major institutional barrier to financial inclusion

The conference Chairman, Dr Uju Ogubunka, CEO Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, in his address stated that the financial inclusion policy of the federal government which commenced in 2012 is geared towards ensuring that no Nigerian is short changed in its financial intermediations policies and economic development plans.

Ogubunka said that the government then out of the 84 percent financially excluded population, targeted to achieve 20 percent financial inclusion by year 2020.

“The adult population has now increased above 84 percent and the un banked population has also increased remarkably. If the people are outside the financial system, the economy will not develop” Ogubunka stated.

He explained that financial inclusion commences with opening bank account, which factors in the account holder towards benefiting from all forms of government’s financial support as the account drives all other transactions of the account holder.

Also, to have insurance policy, investment accounts in the capital market, pension account and all forms of life and business enabling transactions driven only by the nation’s financial system, you need to be financially included, he stressed.

The guest speaker, Mallam Garba Kurfi, Managing Director APT Securities and Funds Limited buttressed that financial inclusion policy of the government helps to ensures that funds that could have been deployed for entrepreneurial initiatives don’t end up in cupboards at homes.

Managing Director; CEO ARM Securities Limited, Mr Rotimi Olubi, representing Mallam Kurfi, in his presentation said that the government is recording remarkable progress in the financial inclusion target, adding more hands are on deck to ensure that economic advantage of the country’s large population translates to financial benefits to the people and institutions.

The government, he stated has designed financial support initiatives for rural women, artisans, petty traders, the financially disadvantaged, which can only be extended to only people who operates bank accounts.

He said that funds are aggregated through savings in banks, investments in capital market or taking policies in insurance companies, such funds are further deployed to catalize economic development through lending or for institutional growth.

Earlier in her opening address, Editor Oriental News Nigeria , Mrs Yemisi Izuora said that the conference was conceived by Stanmeg Communications, publishers of Oriental News Nigeria after a pain staking study the progress and prospects of the financial inclusion policy in the country since inception in 2012.

“ The conference is being organised given that the past couple of years , the federal government and stakeholders in the financial sector have had to deal with expanding financial services tp large community of underserved pupulation and dealing with resilience challenges brought about by confluence of events that have taken place” Izuora stated.

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