[From CHINEDU NWAFOR, Abakaliki]
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it is targeting 25,000 persons in its one week digital financial inclusion drive for women and youths in Ebonyi State.
Mr Philip Yilla Yusuf, the Director Finance Department of the CBN, who disclosed this on Tuesday during the flag off of the exercise at Onueke Township stadium in Ezza South LGA, explained that the financial inclusion drive was an initiative of the apex bank in the country and other stakeholders to improve access of unbanked Nigerians to financial products and services.
Represented by the CBN Controller, Abakaliki Branch, Mr Adayi Christopher, Mr Yusuf recalled that the first phase of the program was held in Gombe State, where over 25,000 women and youths were engaged with Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) registered and accounts opened for the participants at the grassroots levels.
According to him, CBN considered this as a better way to perform monetary and price stability functions when the entire population operates under the formal financial system.
“Tagged ‘Open Account’ and Get Beta Life ‘,would help to reduce some of the barriers to inclusion including long distance to financial access points, adding that, there were mobile solutions providers participating and providing options for mobile wallets and other digital options for women and youth in the state.
“The tag line for drive; ‘open acount, get beta life and the proposed target for number of persons reached (women and youth engaged, products deployed) is 25, 000 at the end of the week,” the Director said.
He commended Ebonyi State government and other relevant stakeholders especially the grassroot leaders, the partners, aiding institutions and the financial service providers for their continued support for inclusive growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
He assured of the CBN’s commitment towards boosting the growth and development of the Nigerian economy as witnessed by numerous financial interventions deployed to reduce the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and those targeted at the youth including the tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme (TIES).
He explained that TIES was aimed at unleashing the potentials of the Nigerian graduate entrepreneurs (gradeprenurs) by providing re-orientation, training and innovative financing model that will enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem with transformational impact on the economy.
Yusuf further disclosed that the bank had also embarked on improving the agricultural sector through interventions aimed at improving food security in Nigeria line the anchor borrowers program (ABP) and the Agri-business Small and Medium Enterprise Equity Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
The State Governor Dave Umahi, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Princess Chinwe Okah, urged the women and youths to key into the program.
The Oracle Today reports that the program targets five LGAs of the State, namely, Ezza South, Ebonyi, Ishielu, Ohaozara and Ivo.