The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says focus on women and youth would help stimulate financial inclusive growth in the country.
Mrs Aisha Ahmad, Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability Directorate of CBN, made the assertion at the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) 2019 Financial Inclusion Conference in Lagos on Monday.
She discussed on the topic : ”Financial Inclusion as a Tool to Unlock Nigeria’s Potential and Enable Inclusive Economic Growth”.
She described inclusive growth as being productive, long term, broad-based to provide all sectors of the society with economic opportunities.
Ahmad said that for growth to be sustainable, it must be inclusive and the poor in particular must have access to resources that would enable them to earn incomes and improve their livelihoods.
“Women financial economic inclusion aligns with my career and personal goals and I feel it is important to acknowledge what EFInA is doing across countries by providing data.
“This data will help policymakers and practioners to develop initiatives that drive financial institutions to ensure financial inclusion.
“Since the global financial crisis, we have not seen growth advance to global financial level, and the recent trade war and geographical tension are not helping this matter.
“Now, promoting inclusive growth is declared global government priority.
“However, I think, for Africa, there is a particular need for the continent in this respect,” she said.
Ahmad said that the country’s growth was arguably fragile even with it being the largest economy in Africa, rich in oil and gas and other natural resources which give government 90 per cent revenue.
“It is now obvious that elevation and contribution of all citizens including youths, women and other marginalised of the economy maybe the key to the significantt rapid growth and beginning to sustain it.
“Financial literacy, actions lined up from now to 2020 will help, and policymakers need to put this at the forefront of their objectives,” she said.
Mr Segun Akerele, Chairman, Board of Directors, EFInA, said that EFInA Financial Inclusion Conference was an annual event which sought to engage stakeholders in the financial sector to identify opportunities to promote financial inclusion.
According to him, building an inclusive financial sector will help to put in place enabling national policy and regulatory environment that fully meet stakeholders need to strengthen economic inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked segment.
“It will seek to catalyse the creation of inclusive financial services for the excluded population by combining commercial objectives with social ones through local policy and practice innovations.
“With the theme, we hope to examine the transformative power of financial inclusion and its potential to accelerate inclusive economic growth through poverty reduction, employment generation and wealth creation,” he said.