By Tunde Osho
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that it aims to achieve increased level of financial inclusion of Nigerians by the year 2020.
Acting Director General of the SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair stated this during a financial inclusion sensitization campaign held in Karshi, Abuja weekend.
Represented by Director Market Development Department of the Commission, Mr. Abdul Bello, Zubair said that having recorded huge success in Bwari, Kuje Area Councils and University of Abuja, it became pertinent that the programme be extended to other communities to reach more Nigerians.
He said “Financial inclusion as we all know is to ensure that various products at affordable costs are made available to the excluded. This is why we have carried this enlightenment campaign to karshi so that the excluded will have an understanding of the available products in the Nigeria Capital Market. Our target is to have increased number of citizens to be financially included by the year 2020 and
“Because of the importance SEC and indeed stakeholders of financial inclusion attach to reaching out to the excluded, our sister Organizations are here to equally give us brief on products that are available in other Financial Services Sector.
Specifically, we have CBN, NDIC, to talk to you about Money Market. NAICOM to talk about Insurance and PENCOM to give advice to the working class and general public on the benefits of investing in Pension Products.”
Zubair used the opportunity to remind Nigerians of the free e-dividend registration exercise currently going on till February 28, 2018 and urged them to approach their bankers or registrars to enroll to enable them receive their dividends electronically.
In his goodwill message, representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. George Ogudu told the participants that with financial inclusion, they will be able to manage their money more efficiently and also have opportunities of accessing various loans in order to build their businesses.
He however, emphasized that the loans are not free money but loans to assist small businesses thrive.
“The money is not free, it is a loan. But it is different from the one you have to go through cumbersome processes in the banks. Now government is giving out loans with little interest and you do not need collateral. All you need to do is to form small market women groups or co-operatives. But you need to have an account to access the money.
“Now with your mobile phone number and passport photograph you can open an account, no need for utility bills and other identification. Open an account and be saving money in it gradually then you can qualify to apply for a loan through your co-operative society” he added.
Also, Lasbery Lot of National Pensions Commission (PenCom) said it is important for Nigerians to save some money while they still have the strength to work so that when they become old or too weak to work they will have pension savings to fall back on.