CBN orders banks to open 7.6m new savings accounts
The Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN ) has ordered all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Microfinance banks to open 7,608,180 new savings accounts to meet its financial Inclusion target.
Financial institutions in all the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were given different targets. Lagos banks have the highest target of 2,293,080 while banks in Abuja are to attract 153,000 savings account customers.
CBN Abuja Branch Controller, Mrs Elizabeth O. Agu made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja at the inauguration of Financial Inclusion States’ steering committee (FISSCO).
Agu stated that the apex bank has ordered all Deposit Money Banks (DMB) and Microfinance in the 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% 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 20% exclusion target by 2020.
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 added that “the bank is also working on developing non-interest financial products for the region. We are conceptualizing ways and means to reach out to women whose culture and religion require specialized products and channels”.
The CBN Abuja Controller informed members of Abuja FISSCO steering committee 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.
“We are therefore, inaugurating the Financial inclusion strategy State steering committee to be chaired by the CBN Branch Controller while the head of development finance office will serve as technical officer in the State/ committee” she said.
In his address, 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).
Pai noted that “one of the ways to assist the masses to attain economic independence especially those at the bottom of the pyramid is to provide them adequate access to financial services in a convenient and affordable manner.”
NFIS was launched on the 23rd of October, 2012 with the overall target of reducing the percentage of adult Nigerians excluded from access to financial service from 46.3% in 2010 to 20% in 2020 and make use of financial services with at least 70% of the number in the formal sector.