The Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, has urged more collaboration between North-east governors and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reconstruct financial infrastructure in the region.
Umaru made the call at the 2017 Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) workshop organised by the NDIC on Thursday in Kano.
The theme of the workshop is“The Nigerian Banking Sector: Challenges, Opportunities and the Way forward.”
In order to rebuild financial infrastructure of the region, Ibrahim urged the CBN to provide banking incentives that would lure commercial banks as well as Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) to return to the region.
He called on the CBN to focus on vocational and entrepreneurial trainings for the region to address the unemployment challenges.“We need to have the government of the North-East on board, they need to be sensitised on this issue.
“We need more collaboration with the CBN and government of the North-East because without this, not much can be done.
“It is necessary for the CBN to provide incentives for various banks in order to come back to the North-East because many bank CEOs have forgotten the potential that exist in this region,’’ Umaru said.
In his presentation entitled “Rebuilding Financial Infrastructure in the North East”, the Director, Development Finance, CBN, Dr Mudashiru Olaitan, lamented the low level of access to the bank’s interventions in the region.
Olaitan was represented by the Deputy Director in the Department, Mr Sani Mohammed.According to Olaitan, of the N82 billion expended between 2001 and 2008, no state in the region accessed the Apex Banks’ interventions.
“In the commercial agricultural scheme intervention by the CBN, no state in the North East accessed this intervention except in Taraba and Gombe, which have only one each.So, there is need for the region to tap into the interventions.”
On why telecommunication companies (telcos) were not engaged in mobile banking, Olaitan explained that it was because most of them were not Nigerian organisations.He also said involvement of the telcos in the mobile banking platform espoused them to high risks.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Sen. Rafiu Ibrahim, said there was the need for the CBN to give incentives to DMBs and MFBs.
According to him, this will make them establish more branches in the North East and give the people of the region access to finance.
His counterpart, Chairman, House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, MrOlufemiFakeye, said elders in the North east had a lot to do in educating the people.
Fakeye urged the private sector to invest more in the region, while calling on the media to positively propagate the message of financial literacy.