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Stakeholders push for increased financial inclusion for vulnerable groups

By Tina Abeku, Abuja
18 November 2022   |   11:30 am
Private and public sector players championing the cause of vulnerable groups in Nigeria have advocated for an increased interface for a robust financial empowerment of Nigerian women and other vulnerable groups. Gender advisor and Lead consultant at Albright Stonebridge Group, Rinmicit Aboki, said that a strong interface among stakeholders is critical to cascading policy implementation…

Stakeholders at the summit in Abuja

Private and public sector players championing the cause of vulnerable groups in Nigeria have advocated for an increased interface for a robust financial empowerment of Nigerian women and other vulnerable groups.

Gender advisor and Lead consultant at Albright Stonebridge Group, Rinmicit Aboki, said that a strong interface among stakeholders is critical to cascading policy implementation on financial inclusion to the grassroots toward empowering Nigerian women.

Speaking at a panel discussion sponsored by the Development Research and Projects Center, (dRPC), a side event at the gender and inclusion summit organized by the Policy and Innovation Center in Abuja, Aboki explained that “an active interface with the public, private, and social sector is important to ensure that women at the grass you have financial access.”

Highlighting the target of the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs), which is to leave no one behind, Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of Enhancing Financial Inclusion and Access, (EFINA), Isaiah Owolabi, pointed out the importance of leveraging on data for financial inclusion of vulnerable groups.

He said “The bottom line of the SDGs is to ‘leave no one behind’ and to achieve this, across the board is to also leverage on data. “For us, accessing financial inclusion is starting from the bottom of the pyramid, especially for women.”

While reinforcing the federal government’s commitment to financial inclusion of women, the Director, of the Monitoring and Evaluation Department of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zakariya’u Lawal, said the ministry will continue to support the planning, budgeting, monitoring and financing of all government’s processes toward financial access to vulnerable groups.

A world bank representative and senior Social development specialist at the bank, Michael Ilesanmi, pointed out that the world bank is working with different financial institutions by carrying out various programs targeted at women’s access to finance and women’s economic empowerment.

The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria, (SMEDAN), Mr Olawale Fasanya, explained that the agency has always provided support to financial access for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, (SMEs), and will continue to do so. “One of our key strategies in SMEDAN is making sure that we carry along all stakeholders in whatever we do.”

Represented by Mr Gbenga Ogundeji, the DG said “some of the key challenges we are facing at SMEDAN is that of policy summersault, stakeholder buy-in and access to our rural women.”