Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank Governor
By Ibrahim Muhammed
The Nigeria Muslim residents in United Kingdom has organised a virtual special TA ALIM class in Hausa to discuss financial inclusion through Post COVID-19 Stimulus Package – a projects rolled out by the Federal Government under Central Bank of Nigeria. The special educative virtual class focused on enlighten and educating people on where and how to access the Nigeria Government’s loan scheme to small and medium enterprises.
The Amir of Nigeria Muslim in London, Sheikh Abdul Razak Ibrahim host the event while Mallam Suleiman Ibrahim Katsina serve as the Moderator. The Director General Small and Medium Development Agency, (SMEDAN) Enterprises, Dr Dikko Umaru Radda delivered lecture during the events which was held online.
A Policy development specialist in Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Nurudeen Abubakar Zauro, Phd highlights details of National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) of CBN – a policy that was launched on 23rd October, 2012 with the objective of reducing adult financial exclusion in Nigeria from 46.3% in 2010 (baseline year) to 20% by the year 2020 as target year.
Dr Nurudeen Zauro said “the ‘strategy’ as defined in the financial inclusion framework means ‘when adult Nigerians have easy access to a broad range of formal financial services that meet their needs”.
Dr Nurudeen Zauro outlined elements of financial inclusions like affordability. The price of financial services should be low enough to make them affordable by the excluded groups. He also dwelled on accessibility, where the financial services will fall within a distance that consumers can reach easily.
“with 16.8 percentage points to reach the 2020 target, appropriate interventions that address the exclusion challenges of peculiarly excluded populations like North, Youth, Women, Rural Areas and MSMES are being concentrated upon in the revised national financial inclusion strategy as part of measures to address challenges of most excluded groups”.
Dr Nurudeen listed Non-interest Products, Agent Banking, Special Models, Utilize traditional channels, Digital Products and Financial Literacy as steps being taken to address financial exclusion rate in the North.
The Policy development experts hinted that ‘the NFIS clearly set out the target for overall financial inclusion at 80% (of adult Nigerians), with a list of sub-targets, recommendations and an implementation plan to achieve this goal by 2020’.
He said the projects also focused on financial Literacy, digital products and school Reach-out Programs to tackle the youths on exclusion. For the women, there are tailored products, Data base on women and digital products while rural community is being integrated through Agent Banking, Digital Products, Financial Literacy, Microfinance institutions and products and Mobile Money
It could be recalled that Jamatul Nasril Islam JNI had in July 2020 commends the Central Bank of Nigeria for Releasing guidelines for the non-interest version of all its intervention programmes. The guidelines covers the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), Agri-Business, Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), Creative Industry Financing Initiative, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund, Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) and Credit Support for the Healthcare Sector.
A statement signed then by Deputy Secretary-General,of NSCIA, Prof. Salisu Shehu, the apex umbrella body of Islamic affairs said that “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General, His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, views the integration as a welcome development, a bold step towards engendering inclusive growth and a proactive mechanism for averting a looming recession threatening the global economy as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. While praying for the effective implementation of the guidelines, the NSCIA wishes to congratulate the CBN and by extension the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) for achieving this remarkable milestone.
The NSCIA suggests that, given the indispensability of financial literacy to achieving financial inclusion and economic recovery and growth, the CBN should use all relevant agencies and avenues, including the networks of the National Orientation Agency, radio and television programmes, among others, to educate the public on the importance of these interventions, and the procedures for accessing them. The procedures should be made as accessible as possible to enable even the poorest of the poor to benefit from the schemes.
The statement said “Meanwhile, as a step towards assisting the FGN and the CBN in achieving the success of the post-pandemic economic recovery, His Eminence, the President-General of NSCIA, directs all State Councils of Islamic Affairs, as well as all other Islamic organisations to design and implement sensitization and mobilization programmes for farmers, businessmen, and other eligible citizens. Imams and the ‘Ulama’ should use their sermons, lectures, lessons, radio and television programmes to educate the Muslim community on the imperative of utilizing the interventions. To this end, His Eminence directs all State Councils to, after studying the details of the guidelines, organize trainings for Imams, ‘Ulama’, leaders of Islamic organizations, trade unions and farmers associations, as well as other key stakeholders, on the value and procedures of accessing these important interventions.
It is in furtherance of these noble objectives that the Nigeria Muslim in United Kingdom organises the Special TA’ALIM class in Hausa to educate Nigerians on how to access the loan and proper utilizations .
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