Ndubuisi Francis, Obinna Chima and Ugo Aliogo in Kano
In order to encourage the return of banks that had left the north-eastern part of the country back to the region, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim thursday suggested the need to provide incentives to the financial institutions.
The return of banking services back to the Boko Haram ravaged area, he said, would help stimulate economic activities in the region and boost financial inclusion.
Ibrahim disclosed this in Kano State, at the ongoing workshop for financial journalists with the theme: “The Role of Nigerian Banking Sector: Opportunities, Challenges and the Way forward,” organised by the NDIC.
He charged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to encourage Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), commercial banks and other players in the financial sector to return to the region and catalyse economic growth and prosperity.
The NDIC Boss explained that there was need for joint collaborations between the CBN and the governors of the region, adding that the collaboration would be the key in addressing the issue.
Ibrahim added: “It will be very necessary for the CBN to find a way of providing some incentives to the deposit money banks, microfinance banks, PMIs and other financial institution to come back to the north-east. I am urging the National Assembly to do everything possible to push the CBN to provide some of the much-needed incentive for the banks to come back to the region.
“The efforts in pushing for financial inclusion is a global drive, but it is more of concern to developing countries, on our path we are making frantic efforts to ensure that it is achieved in the country.
“Regarding the issue of financial literacy, there is a curriculum that has been developed for primary and schools across the country. In the newspapers, we have created a column to teach people how to manage their monies and how to have access to insurance plans. We have also deployed the use of radio jingles, television, and every media platforms necessary to assure customers about the safety of their monies.”
Continuing, he said: “You cannot have a virile economy without a strong banking system. A lot of topics have been chosen such as the revitalisation of the financial service industry in the north-east, the emergency of crypto currency, economic recovery and reforms, financial inclusion and literacy, and other issues.
“This is an annual workshop which we organise in partnership with Financial Correspondent Association of Nigeria (FICAN) to continuously sensitise and educate them on the development in the financial services industry in general and the financial service industry.”
Also in his presentation, the Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Dr. M.A. Olaitan, who was represented by a Deputy Director, at the central bank, Sani Mohammed, said the justification for rebuilding the region was vested on its potential for agricultural development, and the federal government’s economic and diversification agenda.
Olaitan, in a paper titled: “Rebuilding Financial Infrastructure in the North-east,” noted that the region presents huge potential to contribute to the economy.
According to him, the central bank would continue to support initiatives to ensure access to financial services.