Obaseki Tasks Financial Institutions on Unbanked Population


Nume Ekeghe

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has challenged financial institutions across the world to design products that will appeal to the millions of the world’s unbanked population to boost liquidity in the banks and safeguard the future of savings account holders.

Obaseki made the call on Monday, in commemoration of the World Savings Day, marked on October 31, every year.
He also assured that the long-term goal of Alaghodaro as envisioned by his administration will address the several challenges of urbanisation in the state’s urban centers.

The governor’s assurance was on the commemoration of the World Cities Day, which is also marked on October 31, each year.
According to the governor, “the complex processes involved in opening savings account, the cold reception given to the fairly literate and non-literate customers, and the lack of adequate incentives for savings culture among other factors discourage many people from taking their money to the bank.”

He stressed that “banking needs not be elitist or flamboyant, especially in developing economies and advised bankers to be more creative in reaching out to the unbanked population, most of them in rural and peri-urban areas, and speak to them in languages they understand to win their confidence to save their earnings.”

Obaseki further said that this year’s theme: “Our Future Starts with Savings,” is apt, adding that “a good saving culture is healthy for financial institutions, the economy as well as the account holders.”
He explained that people who save money in banks support the growth of the economy and secure their hard earned money from being lost to fire or theft.

“Stories abound of people who have lost their money to thieves, fire incident or flooding because they kept their money under their pillows at home. Money kept at home cannot yield interests and the culture of keeping money at home exposes people to all forms of risk.”
On the World Cities Day, the governor said several programmes had been lined up to transform Benin City and other urban centers in the state to world-class cities.