By Stellamaris Ashinze
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate for Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and some financial experts on Tuesday said that agent banking remains the key to financial inclusion becoming a reality in the country.
They made the submissions during a panel discussion at the on-going 2019 Social Media Week (SMW).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the panel session was tagged: “Making Financial Inclusion a Reality in Nigeria”.
Sanwo-Olu said that though Lagos State was not so disadvantaged in terms of banking facilities, some people still had no access to financial services.
According to him, there is the need for government to reduce the number of those financially-excluded.
The APC candidate said that the Federal Government had set the pace for financial inclusion with the introduction of “Trader Moni”.
Mr Nurudeen Adedeji of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that the key point of financial inclusion was agent banking.
Adedeji said that the CBN was working with 500,000 agent banks to give access to those without financial services.
According to him, CBN is passionate about financial inclusion, because the apex bank is aware of its advantage as a developmental tool.
Mr Jay Alabara, Founder, Paga Tech, a financial payment platform, said that financial services payment was key to the financial service chain.
Alabara said that Paga had served 11.7 million people with its agent banking, thereby making financial inclusion a reality.
Meanwhile, Dr Olayinka David-West, Head, Digital Financial Services, Lagos Business School, said that there was the need to identify the groups that were financially excluded and to proffer ways of bringing them to the platform.
Mrs Nkem Okocha, Founder, Mamamoni, said that about 6,000 women with no income had been empowered by Mamamoni since its inception in 2013.
Okocha said that the women had been trained in various trade, empowered financially and provided with part-time jobs.
According to her, the means of paying back the loan has been flexible for the traders.
Okocha said that it was all part of providing income for no-income women and making it possible for them to access financial services.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the SMW is an annual technology event.
The 2019 edition commenced on Feb. 4 and will end on Feb. 8.