The Central Bank of Nigeria said it is committed to the enhancing the financial inclusion initiative for the country, with the launching of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.
With global access to financial services remaining a major challenge, the apex bank said it the enunciation of a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS),for the country with the focus to reduce the exclusion rate to 20.0 per cent by 2020, was timely as spelt out, in the Maya Declaration in 2011.
Globally, access to financial services is said to remain a major challenge to development. Reasons reasons commonly cited for this state of affairs include: cultural barriers, low education, unemployment, gender, long distance to access points, lack of appropriate means of identification and high transaction costs.
The apex bank noted that approach used by various governments, policymakers and regulators to address these challenges is to design financial Inclusion Strategy, as a means to achieving inclusive growth.
In Nigeria, the rate of adult financial exclusion is estimated at 46.3 per cent, one of the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
To underscore the importance the Government of Nigeria attaches to Financial Inclusion, the country launched the NFIS, as well as hosting Her Royal Highness (HRH), Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General's special advocate for inclusive finance for Development.
The events were held concurrently with the first Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Strategy Peer Learning Programme and the Regional Meeting of the Child and Youth Finance International for Africa.
The fora further reflect the efforts of the CBN to enhance access to financial services in the country.