Access Bank’s Group Head Retail Operations, Mr. Abraham Aziegbe, yesterday said over 40 million Nigerians were under-banked, adding that the situation had adversely affected the economic development and growth of Nigeria over the years.
He said the most pragmatic approach to such an economic defect was to institutionalize financial inclusion in all the communities of Nigeria to give opportunities for small business owners to grow and contribute immensely to the national economy.
According to him, the banking sector has a huge role to play in transforming both the micro and macro economy of the nation into posterity and sustainable growth.
Aziegbe made the disclosure during the opening of a new branch of Access Bank at Apomu, in Isokan Local Government Area of Osun State, saying the bank is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria to reposition Nigeria’s economy through the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
He said:” We recognize the fact that there are still many Nigerians who are still under-banked. By estimation, over 40 million Nigerians do not have a bank account, it is on this note that our bank embarked on an aggressive branch network to redirect the mindsets of many Nigerians towards active banking activities.
“Asides millions of individuals who involve in daily economic activities outside the banking system, there are thousands of small and medium business owners who are transacting without banks.
“This situation informed our resolve to entrench financial inclusion mechanism in the urban centres and remote communities to incorporate Nigerians into banking creed.
“We are working in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria to transform the economy and make people, especially small and medium business owners to see a brighter future of huge prosperity through active banking.”
Speaking on the federal government’s policy on border closure, the financial expert said the decision to close border can only be felt in the long run, adding that the policy might not immediately have an effect on the macro economy.
He, however, opined that the policy, in the long run, would stimulate local productivity, by regulating influx of goods coming into the country and thereby turning Nigeria into dumping ground of imported commodities.
“For those who make policies, there are several factors that always inform their decision. Obviously, the effect of border closure is long-time.”
The Osun State Deputy Governor, Mr. Olugboyega Benedict Alabi in his remarks stressed that the relative peace in the state has attracted many investors, including banks to choose Osun as a business destination.
He, therefore, implored people of the community to reciprocate the gesture by patronizing the bank for all their financial dealings.