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NDIC raises concern over huge financial exclusion


[FILE PHOTO] Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Umaru Ibrahim.

Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has raised concern over the huge financial exclusion in Nigeria, which it put at 60 per cent.The managing director/chief executive officer, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, disclosed this yesterday when he visited the Senate president, Ahmed Lawan.

His words: “The issue of financial inclusion is very critical globally. We have a lot of statistics that indicate clearly that about 60 per cent of Nigerians do not have access to financial institutions.

“People travel for hundreds of kilometres before they can reach a branch. There are local governments and communities that do not have a branch; they do not have Automated Teller Machines (ATM).”

Noting that those communities could not achieve their financial target without some kind of sustainable inclusion, he said NDIC was working hard to change the situation.

“Nigeria has an ombudsman to eradicate or eliminate the problem of access to finance, otherwise to achieve more financial inclusion for its citizenry.

“Happily, measures have been taken to ensure that we gain more mileage in this area by establishing more microfinance banks, licensing mobile banks and creating agent banks,” he added.

According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is trying to license Payment Service Banks, to enlarge the space, so that the teeming population would have access to banking services.For him, financial inclusion does not only mean walking into a bank or using phone to make transaction, but also allowing the citizen to be able to access information, get help, get soft loan in a very responsive and responsible manner, for a sustainable livelihood.

NDIC is working very hard to achieve all that, he added. He pointed out that issues of fraud and forgery in the baking space, especially cyber crime, also engaged their minds.

“We are working hard with stakeholders to minimise incidences of cyber crime in our banking system. “The banks are being encouraged to ensure that they have fool-proof cyber security system, to minimise the incidences of hacking, which results in serious losses to the banking system as well as loss of earnings and confidence.”

Part of the emerging trends in the global banking space, he observed, is the emergence of block chain technology. On hos part, Lawan expressed the senate’s commitment to healthy financial institutions in the country.He said the senate was desirous of a stable economy, which could only be achieved through collaboration of all players in the financial services sector.


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