The acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Folashodun Shonubi has said the apex bank would continue to collaborate with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and other development partners to explore innovative solutions for driving access to finance.
Speaking in Abuja, during the duo’s strategic engagement over the weekend, on how to deepen collaboration on financial inclusion in the country, Shonubi, who was accompanied by the CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability (FSS), Aishah Ahmad, pointed out that though much progress had been made in various aspects of financial inclusion, some challenges still remained in attaining the desired level of financial inclusion in Nigeria.
He, therefore, called for greater partnership between the bank and the foundation.
Speaking during the meeting, Shonubi, reiterated the commitment of the CBN to continually partner with BMGF and other development partners to explore innovative solutions for driving access to finance.
In his remarks, the co-chair of the foundation, Mr. Bill Gates highlighted the foundation’s focus areas for continued engagement in Nigeria to include health, agriculture, and financial services.
Gates expressed satisfaction that support from his organisation was catalysing developmental action in the country.
While acknowledging that there were still challenges and gaps, he expressed optimism that the country would witness better outcomes given the new economic and monetary policies currently in place.
The foundation has supported financial inclusion in the country since 2012 and had been a strategic partner of the central bank in driving innovation to reach excluded segments of Nigeria’s population with financial products and services.
According to a statement issued by the bank, the partnership has brought about strategic initiatives including the Nigeria Financial Services Maps, a gateway for geospatial mapping of access points, the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in 2012 and a revision in 2018, research into financial exclusion, scoping of digital financial services in Nigeria, and many more activities that help accelerate access to financial services.
Gates was accompanied by the President, Global Development, BMGF, Christopher Elias, and Senior Programme Officer, BMGF, Abi Jagun. Other members of the CBN team included Director, Development Finance, Mr. Philip Yila Yusuf, and Head, Financial Inclusion, Dr. Paul Oluikpe.