The Senate Committee on Banking and Other Financial Institutions has urged state governments particularly in the northwest zone of the country to ensure financial inclusion for poor citizens.
They raised the concern on Sunday that over 70 per cent of adults in the northwest zone are financially excluded while addressing reporters in Kaduna.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Uba Sani, who attributes the problem to factors such as insecurity and lack of access to financial systems, urged the Northern Governors to come with a sustainable framework as soon as possible.
He described the situation as a threat to the realization of the Federal Government’s poverty reduction plan.
While stating that his committee and the Central Bank of Nigeria are keen on the issue of financial inclusion and desirous to see millions of poor Nigerians empowered through the extension of credit to them, Senator Sani says state governments must hasten the establishment of microfinance and community banks to help deepen access to financial services in the rural communities, where the majority of the country’s excluded population live.
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Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has yet again reiterated his administration’s commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, saying it is achievable if there is synergy between the government and the people.
Speaking during the commissioning of the first National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate in Katsina on July 19, President Buhari noted that reliance on oil had turned a drawback on the economy over the years, with unpredictable and fluctuating global prices that made it more difficult to effectively plan budgets, implement and measure outcomes.
He said the mainstay of the Nigerian economy remains agriculture, where the country already commands a competitive advantage, with good weather conditions for crop and livestock farming, available manpower and willingness to learn new skills and good soil types for all-season farming.
“We can do it, and we will do it. No excuse will be good enough to remain a mono-economy with all the challenges in oil production and fluctuating global prices when we have vast opportunities in crop and livestock production,” the President said.
The recent rise in banditry, kidnapping and herder/farmer clashes has, however, had a huge impact on the ability of farmers to freely go about their businesses.
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