The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stated that more than four million smallholder farmers across the country have benefitted from its concessionary credit facilities.
This was stated on Thursday in Abuja by Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor at the International Inclusion Conference 2022 (IFIC’ 22) themed, ‘financial inclusion for all: scaling innovative digital models’.
At the event, the apex bank launched seven strategic policy documents to deepen financial inclusion.
President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Muhammad Bello, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), unveiled the policy documents.
The documents include, the revised national financial inclusion strategy (NFIS 3.0), national strategy leveraging agent networks for women’s financial inclusion, national fintech strategy, Nigeria financial services maps (NFSMaps), payment system vision (PSV) 2025, regtech sandbox framework, and the Central Bank of Nigeria – Central Bank of Egypt, fintech bridge.
Speaking at the event, Emefiele said CBN plans to achieve 95 percent financial inclusion rate by 2024 as envisioned in the revised financial inclusion strategy document.
“I also want to task all stakeholders of financial inclusion in Nigeria to join hands together, work in collaboration and drive implementation to ensure that we achieve 95 percent financial inclusion as outlined in the new national financial inclusion strategy,” he said.
“Over four million smallholder farmers nationwide have benefitted from concessionary credit facilities that improved the nation’s food output while creating two million jobs.
“All credits to these farmers were disbursed via digital channels, further boosting financial inclusion in rural areas.”
Emefiele said the bank’s focus on leveraging digital innovations to drive financial inclusion was one of the main motivations for the launch of the eNaira, Nigeria’s digital currency.
“To ensure that the eNaira is enabled for financial inclusion, a USSD channel for eNaira was created,” the CBN governor added.
He said as of 2008, 52.2 percent of Nigerian adults were financially excluded, adding that financial inclusion had improved in Nigeria.
“As at the end of 2020 the financial exclusion rate had reduced to 35.9 percent,” Emefiele said.
“While this remains high when considered as absolute numbers, it is a huge improvement when compared to the position as at 2008 of 52.2 percent.”