The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has called on commercial banks and other businesses that left the North East in the wake of Boko Haram insurgency to ensure businessmen and women in the region have easier access to funds.
This is even as only 25 per cent of adults out of the estimated population of 26.26 million people in the region have access to financial services.
According to NDIC Managing Director, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, concerted efforts must be made to economically revive the North East as the region has a very large population that cannot be neglected. wwwwHe charged the Central Bank to encourage Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other players in the financial sector to return to the region to catalyse economic growth and prosperity.
Ibrahim, who shed more light on the paper titled, “Rebuilding Financial Infrastructure in the North East” presented by Deputy Director, Development Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sani Mohammed, pointed out that the apex bank should strongly collaborate with the governors in the North East to fashion ways of attracting investment to the region.
He said, “I think with this low percentage of people having access to formal financial services, there is need for more collaboration between the CBN and the governors of the North East. I will love to see a situation where we sit with the governments of the North East because without their collaboration, there is not much we can achieve.
“Secondly, it will be very necessary for the CBN to find a way of providing some incentives to DMBs, Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and other financial institutions to come back to the North East.”
The NDIC boss urged the National Assembly to do everything possible to push the CBN to provide some of the much needed incentives for the banks to come back to the North East.
In his presentation, Deputy Director, Development Finance, CBN, Sani Mohammed, said the justification for rebuilding the North East was due to the region’s potential for agricultural development and fitting into the Federal Government’s economic development and diversification agenda.
He thereafter said the North East presents an enormous potential to contribute to the economy, adding that the apex bank will continue to support initiatives to ensure access to financial services.
“The current vision to drive the North East infrastructural redevelopment stems from the presidential initiative for the North East. The North East presents an enormous potential to contributing to the economy and the CBN will continue to support initiatives to ensure access to formal financial services,” Mohammed said.