Monday, January 25, 2010

60 percent of citizens don't have access to banks

A former staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Adviser to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the development and implementation of the Microfinance Certification Program in the country, Peter van Dijk, has revealed that 60 per cent of Nigerians are under banked.

Dijk, who made this disclosure in his paper "Inclusive Finance and Savings Mobilisation" presented at the 4th Annual Microfinance Conference and Entrepreneurship Awards at the weekend in Abuja advised the Nigerian government to use all the technology and knowledge it has to address the situation and reduce poverty among its citizens.

He said Nigeria has the best and most important precondition to build a sustainable and inclusive financial sector.

The country, Dijk added, has many people who are economically active with an economy of scale needed for an improvement outreach but government is yet to integrate this huge potential into building an inclusive financial sector.

"Nigeria has the resources financially and non financially to make a change" he observed, adding that "You now have to take it into you own hands: integrate the huge potential you have with around 60 per cent of your population still being un-under banked, use all the technology and knowledge you have and build an inclusive financial sector which will help to reduce the poverty among your citizens".

Dijk called on the highest executive level of government and in particular, the Federal Ministry of Finance to rapidly make the National Microfinance Policy a coherent document in the sense of the inclusive definition of microfinance and integrate it into the national financial sector development strategy FSS2020.


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