By Obinna Chima
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Ahmed Kuru has called on banksâ€™ communication managers and financial journalists to continue to collaborate to deepen financial inclusion in the country.
Kuru said this in a paper he presented at a forum organised for financial journalists and banksâ€™ communication managers, organised by the Centre for Financial Journalism (CFJ) in Lagos recently. He was represented by a senior management staff of AMCON, Prisca Ndu.
The event was moderated by the Chief Executive Officer, Proshare Nigeria, Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi.
The topic of the event was: â€˜Deepening Financial Inclusion: Role of Financial Journalists and Banksâ€™ Communications Managers.
Â The AMCON boss said ensuring financial inclusion was one of the many ways needed to build a vibrant economy.
Kuru said that financial access facilitates day-to-day living, and helps families and businesses plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies.
â€œTo deepen financial inclusion therefore, it is my submission that it is in the place of the communications managers and their creative agencies to continually come up with market penetration initiatives and programmes that would create the desired public awareness and interests regarding financial inclusion, while the financial journalist leverages the information emanating from the financial houses to engage the public on the benefits and why they need to key into the scheme,â€ he added.
He acknowledged that the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bankers Committee as well other stakeholders had been working very hard to drive home the message of financial inclusion.
â€œI am aware that banks in Nigeria have all sorts of programmes that enable them reach the unbanked across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
â€œThere is need for all stakeholders to double their efforts because millions of people in Nigeria are still financially excluded and across the world the figure is in billions.
â€œWhile we can actually say that there has been progress toward financial inclusion, Nigeria and the world still grapple with significant challenge,â€ he said.
Among others, he noted that the forcibly displaced populations present one of the most pressing financial inclusion challenges, saying almost 80 per cent in adults in fragile and conflict-affected states were outside the formal financial system.
â€œA good local example is our Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a result of insurgence among other forms of disasters.
â€œFinancial journalists and banksâ€™ communications managers must lead the pack in creating the awareness for financial inclusion and sustaining same,â€ he added.