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CBN mandates banks to open fresh 7.6m savings accounts

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has mandated all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Microfinance banks to open a minimum of 7, 608,180 new savings accounts to meet its financial inclusion target.

The aim is to reduce the Nigerian non- financially inclusive population currently standing at 40.1 per cent by half in 2020 to 20 percent.To achieve the target, they have been given different targets to meet before 2020. While Lagos banks have the highest target of 2, 293, 080, banks in Abuja are to attract 153, 000 savings account customers.

The CBN Abuja Branch Controller, Mrs. Elizabeth O. Agu handed the directives in Abuja at the inauguration of Financial Inclusion States’ Steering Committee (FISSCO). Agu said the apex bank has ordered all DMB and Microfinance in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to attract a minimum of 1500 and 2500 new savings customers respectively in 2018.

She also confirmed that the apex bank has commenced the review of the strategy document for achieving required levels of financial inclusion in the country.

Come 2020, the CBN is targeting 20 per cent adult exclusion from financial services.The review is expected to throw up major challenges and corrective options to be adopted to put Nigeria back on track of meeting the target. 

According to her, “as we speak, the bank is working on initiatives that are targeted at North East, North West and North Central zones of the country where exclusion rates are still very high. We intend to hold stakeholders’ workshops in those parts of the country to drill down on strategic measures that will give us quick results.”

She informed members of Abuja FISSCO which comprise top officers of Deposit Money Banks branches in Abuja metropolis and representatives of key agencies that, CBN has evolved appropriate governance arrangements for the implementation of financial inclusion strategy at all levels.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) represented by Mr. Abubakar Sanni Pai urged the CBN to create a common platform for stakeholders to contribute their views to achieve the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

NFIS was launched on October 23, 2012 with the overall target of reducing the percentage of adult Nigerians excluded from access to financial service from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent in 2020 and make use of financial services with at least 70 per cent of the number in the formal sector. 


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