CBN, N1tn Disbursed To Anchor Borrowers Programme Farmers
The Central Bank of Nigeria is targeting 95 per cent financial inclusion by 2024 and the Federal Government has launched five strategic policy reports with a view to actualising the target.
Similarly, the CBN has disbursed N1.07tn to farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme. This was disclosed by the bank’s communiqué no 145 released after its recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja.
The reports launched at the ongoing International Financial Inclusion Conference in Abuja on Thursday were: Revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy; National Strategy for Leveraging Agent Networks for Women’s Financial Inclusion; National Fintech Strategy and Nigeria Financial Services Maps (NFSMaps); and Payment System Vision 2025.
Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), said at the event that his administration understood the impact of financial inclusion on economic growth and development, having provided the enabling policy environment to achieve the expected results.
Buhari, who was represented by the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mohammed Bello, said: “For instance, in 2019, I launched the Micro Pension policy which was aimed at deepening pension penetration amongst M.S.M.E.s and the informal economy. We also initiated policies for Micro-Insurance and Collective Investment. These initiatives are geared toward providing access to a wide range of financial products and services to the underserved in line with our National Financial Inclusion objective.”
He noted that in order to increase financial services access points in underserved locations in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria had issued the Payment Service Bank regulatory framework.
He said through the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF), the number of agent banking locations in the country had moved from 86,000 in 2018 to over 1.4 million in 2022.
He further said that the launch of the eNaira in October 2021 had not just put Nigeria on the global map but also provided it with the currency for the digital economy.
At the financial inclusion conference, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that in 2008, 52.2 per cent of Nigerian adults were financially excluded, but this had reduced to 35.9 per cent by 2020.
Emefiele further said that while the number remained high when considered in absolute terms, it was a huge improvement when compared to the country’s position in 2008.
“This change did not happen by accident but resulted from the decisive and concerted approach by National Financial Inclusion stakeholders to address key pain points and bottlenecks that were deterring financial inclusion,” he said.
He disclosed that from 2012 to date, over 59 policies and initiatives had been implemented by stakeholders to achieve the objective of financial inclusion, noting that the policies and initiatives cut across sectors such as banking, insurance, capital market, pension sector and institutions responsible for infrastructural development for financial inclusion.
“From 2015 to date, over 4 million small-holder farmers cutting across all states in the country were provided concessionary credit facilities. While this has boosted the economic fortunes of these farmers it also improved national food output, prevented food insecurity and created over 2 million jobs in the process.”
The CBN’s Deputy Governor, Aisha Ahmad, who headed the organising committee of the conference, said Nigeria was at a tipping point in terms of financial inclusion. She said financial inclusion had reached 64.1 per cent today from 53.7 per cent in 2011, noting that the country had made progress in this area.