The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday announced that it is going to establish a national micro-finance bank that will provide credit finance to small, medium enterprises (SMEs) and other unbanked groups in the country. The announcement was made by Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, at the maiden two-day National Financial Literacy Stakeholders’ conference in Abuja.
According to Mr. Emefiele, the national micro-finance bank will be established in collaboration with the Bankers Committee, the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
The CBN governor said the new technology-driven national micro-finance bank will reach its target beneficiaries by leveraging on the NIPOST’s presence in 774 local government areas of the country.
“The bank will serve as an efficient channel for the disbursement and monitoring of key intervention funds by the CBN, such as the Anchor Borrowers fund, SME fund, etc, to farmers and SMEs at the grassroots level,” Mr. Emefiele said.
He said the National Financial Literacy Stakeholders’ conference will provide the platform for participants to deliberate on key imperatives for achieving the country’s financial inclusion targets, promoting financial stability and entrenching sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Financial System stability, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, the CBN governor noted that the conference’s theme, which is “Implementing Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection to advance Financial Inclusion in Nigeria”, was selected to help focus on the need to address financial inclusion limiting challenges in the country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is hoping that it will possibly achieve its target of narrowing the level of financial exclusion in Nigeria to a manageable 20 percent in 2020. Mrs. Aishah Ahmad stated that the CBN has collaborated with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to revise its strategy to achieve the 80 percent financial inclusion target.