The Central Bank of Nigeria yesterday said its Digital Financial Inclusion for Women and Youths in Ebonyi State is aimed at giving the bank opportunity to actively engage with unbanked populations and provide them with necessary tools for economic empowerment and inclusion.
The CBN also launched the digital financial inclusion drive in Kaima town, the headquarters of the Kolokuma/Opokuma local government council of Bayelsa state in order to cut down the high numbers of financially excluded women and youths in the state.
The director, Development Finance Department of the bank, Mr. Philip Yusuf Yila made the disclosure during the flag of ceremony of the Digital Financial Inclusion Drive for Women and Youths at the Onueke Township Staduim, Ezza South Local Government Area of the state.
Mr. Yila who was represented by the Branch Controller, CBN, Abakaliki, Mr. Adayo Christopher who said that the tag line for the drive is; “Open Account, Get Beta Life noted that the proposed target for the number of persons is 25,000 at the end of the week long drive.
He noted that through out the week, financial services providers will be available to help unbanked women and youths to make informed decisions about products uptake which includes savings accounts, micro pensions, micro insurance, BVN registration and NIN registration amongst others.
Yila said that the women and youths will also have opportunities to learn about investment opportunities and how to sustainably grow their finances.
According to him, “financial inclusion is also important for household and businesses because interacting with formal systems allows individuals keep their finances safe in saving accounts”.
“It provides businesses the opportunities to access available credit opportunities, loans and encourages the habit of investment”.
Mr. Yusuf said that the drive which will hold in 5 local government area of the state will reduce some of the barriers which includes long distance to financial access points.
He said that Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN remains committed to the growth and development of the country’s economy as witnessed by numerous development finance interventions deployed to reduce the negative effect of the COVID 19 pandemic on businesses and interventions targeted at the youths.
He said that the bank has also embarked on improving the agricultural sector through interventions aimed at improving food security in Nigeria.
The Ebonyi state governor, Chief David Umahi who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Chinwe Okah enjoined the women to key into the program to enable them benefits in various programs of the state government.
Meanwhile, in Bayelsa, YIla who represented by Mrs. Augustina Osuya, pointed out that the launch of the digital inclusion policy in Kaima town and other parts of Bayelsa State will resolve issues of the lack of access to Agric loans by farmers in the state due to non-availability of Bank Verification Number (BVN).
He said the financial inclusion policy will assist those without access to gainful policies offered by financial institution to have access with ease, “it will give opportunity to those without BVN to bank and assist farmers to access loans. It will allow all financial institutions in the state to bring in those secluded in the state.”
Also speaking, the state governor, Senator Douye Diri, who was represented by the representative of the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Anthony Howells, urged the women and youths in the state to participate in the ongoing CBN financial inclusion policy in order to benefit from numerous empowerment programmes of the state government.
Howells, who is the Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the Bayelsa Government, said the policy is a deliberate one initiated by the CBN to encourage the participation of rural dwellers, market women and youths in digital banking and empowerment programmes at the state and federal levels.