Experts to discuss Nigeria’s financial inclusion initiative at confab

Key stakeholders in Nigeria’s financial sector would engage in a round table discussion on the government’s key policy centring on an inclusive financial system that will cover all strata of the society.

The experts, drawn from key private sector organisations and regulatory agencies, would gather at the inaugural conference on ‘Financial Inclusion’ being hosted by STANMEG Communications, publishers of Oriental News Nigeria.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, who had earlier confirmed the participation of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, also endorsed the theme of the conference, an initiative he said is a major policy drive which NAICOM is passionate about.

Given this endorsement, NAICOM would be joining other key stakeholders from the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, the National Communications Commission, and First Bank Plc, who will be part of the discussants at the confab.

According to the organisers, the conference will help to advance inclusive financial systems for the identified groups, which include community-based people, artisans, low-income groups, market men and women, and special persons (Disability Group) that undertake various vocations as well as displaced persons.

The theme of the conference is, “Engaging With Critical Grassroots Groups To Develop Effective Financial Inclusion Initiative” with a sub-theme, ‘Identifying Key Action Areas for Financial Inclusion Strategy’ and is scheduled to hold on June 16, 2022, at the Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos.

The conference chairman is Dr. Uju Ogubunka, Chairman, Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN), while the guest speaker is Mallam Garba Kurfi, Managing Director of APT Securities and Funds Limited.

According to a release issued by the organizers, the conference is being organized given that over the past couple of years, the Federal Government and stakeholders in the financial sector have had to deal with expanding financial services to a large community of underserved populations and dealing with resilience challenges brought about by the confluence of events that have taken place.

They have had to cope with spiralling financial services prices, restricted coverage and dwindling capacity and limits in key lines such as low internet knowledge of certain segments of the society like market men and women, artisans and some physically challenged persons.

STANMEG Communications, using rigorous research tools, observed a huge gap in the financial services system with some members of other social strata excluded.

Since 2005, the Nigerian financial services sector has witnessed increasing activities by both the government and the regulatory authorities aimed at deliberately promoting policies that are intended to grow financial inclusion.

The principle of financial inclusion has assumed a greater level of importance in recent times due to its perceived importance as a driver of economic growth.

Giving access to the hundreds of millions of men and women who are presently excluded from financial services would provide the possibilities for the creation of a large depository of savings, investable funds, investment and therefore global wealth generation.

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