The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it aims to achieve increased financial inclusion of Nigerians by the year 2020.
Acting Director General, Dr Abdul Zubair, stated this during a financial inclusion sensitization campaign in Abuja.
Zubair was represented by Mr Abdul Bello, Director, Market Development Department.
He said that having recorded a 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.
“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 80 percent of citizens financially included by the year 2020.”
Zubair said because of the importance it attached to financial inclusion, sister organizations also partook in the campaign.
“Specifically, we have Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) to talk to you about Money Market.
“National Pension Commission (NAICOM) to talk about insurance and National Pension Commission (PENCOM) to give advice to the working class and general public on the benefits of investing in pension products.”
He reminded Nigerians of the free e-dividend registration currently going on till February 28, urging them to approach their bankers or registrars to enrol, to enable them receive their dividends.
Mr George Ogudu, a representative from CBN, told participants that with financial inclusion, they would be able to manage their money more efficiently.
They also have opportunities of accessing various loans to build their businesses.
He, however, emphasized that the loans were not free money but 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 a 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.”
He said that with their mobile phone numbers and passport photographs, they could open an account, adding that there would be no need for utility bills and other forms of identification.
He advised them to open accounts and save money gradually, after which they would qualify to apply for a loan through their co-operative societies.
Mr Lasbery Lot of PenCom said it was important for Nigerians to save some money while they still had the strength to work so that when they become old or too weak to work they would have pension savings to fall back to.
Amaka E. Nliam