By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Steps are presently being taken to bring on board about 40 million Nigerians currently excluded from financial services.
To make this a reality, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and other stakeholders in the country have come together to join forces.
According to the Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor, BMGF, Mr Kosta Peric, it is important that such persons are equipped with the capacity to transact financial services, which will further expose them to broader financial deals like micro credits, loans and capital market participation, among others.
Speaking during the BusinessDay Financial Inclusion Summit in Lagos, Mr Peric noted that this move was very critical considering that financially excluded Nigerians would have difficulties in planning and getting out of poverty.
“The BMGF is working with a number of partners in Nigeria to achieve the goal of dropping to 20 percent financial exclusion by 2020. The partners include regulators, financial services providers and operators within the space.
“The Foundation, while philanthropic, does not seek to focus on their monetary contributions, but are rather driven by impact,” Mr Peric said at the occasion.
According to him, millions of people around the world transition yearly out of poverty in many number of ways by adopting new farming technologies, investing in new business opportunities, or finding new jobs, among others.
But he said these large numbers of people were falling back into poverty due to health problems, financial setbacks and other shocks.
He expressed confidence that the collaboration with the Nigerian government would yield a positive result.
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