Apparently disturbed by the high index of non inclusion and low boost of financial activities in Bayelsa state, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has launched the Account Opening Week pilot scheme in the state.
The Flag- off ceremony, which was launched in Yenagoa, the state capital on Monday, is aimed at sensitizing Bayelsans on the need to drastically reduce the high number of financial exclusion from 35 percent to 20 percent before the end of year 2020.
Branch Controller, Yenagoa branch, CBN, Mr. Sikiru Osidele, noted that the event was to prepare the minds and encourage more people to come onboard the financial room, adding that from statistics a lot of Bayelsans are not on the platform of financial activities.
Osidele, while outlining the strategies to improve the rate of financial inclusion target in the state, advised stakeholders and other traders to take advantage of the many benefits attached to the inclusion.
“The flag off ceremony is a way to sensitize the public and further take the campaign to the interland to engage more people to get involved. With this more financial service provider will be captured and attract more people to participate in financial activities”
“By 2020, we would have reduced the number of financial exclusion to 20%, from 35% , down drastically. Benefit is that the people can keep their monies more in the bank, no fear carrying huge amount exposed to robbery”
The representative of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Kemela Okara , Mr. George Dunana express joy that the scheme was launched to bring banking to the door steps of the people , mostly the major players the informal sector of the economy .
He further noted that it was near impossible to open account because of the charges by the banks and called on the people to avail themselves of the unique opportunities offered by the CBN to open accounts to benefit from the numerous opportunities of banking .
The SSG thanked the CBN for choosing Bayelsa state for the pilot scheme ahead of other state and pledged the support and encouragement of the state government to the success of the programme .
In his brief, Chairman, Local Monitoring Committee (LMC), representative of the Vulnerable, Ministry of of Empowerment &Social Development, Mr. Tariye Steven, noted that the fact is that the people must be educated and enlightened on the risk of carrying physical cash about.
On his part the Head Development Financing CBN Yenagoa Branch , Mr. Stanley Oruyeigha urged participating the banks to take the sensitizations to the hinterland to enable rural people to benefit from the excise , stressing that the programme is targeted at the people in the grassroots who are not opportune to know the importance of banking .
Steven further stated that the challenge of the terrain has made it difficult but for the awareness created by the banks the people in the remote areas will also be captured, adding that they will also benefit from accessing funds giving by the Apex bank for investment.