CBN, experts urge microfinance banks to boost financial inclusion

The Central Bank of Nigeria and financial sector experts have called for collaborative efforts among microfinance banks to promote the expansion of micro-insurance as a tool for deepening financial inclusion.

They made the call at the sixth annual symposium of the Nigerian Microfinance Platform organised by the Microfinance Learning and Development Center with the theme ‘Expanding the frontiers of financial inclusion: The micro-insurance option’.

A statement, titled ‘CBN, experts advocate collaboration among MFBs on micro-insurance’, said the experts described microfinance banks as instrumental to the expansion of micro-insurance services among the populace.

Addressing participants at the symposium, the Deputy Governor, Financial Sector Surveillance, CBN, Mrs Aisha Ahmad, said there was a need for a collective strategy to re-emphasise the importance of micro-insurance as a financial service.

She added that it was necessary to re-align it as a vital tool in attaining a higher level of financial inclusion within the Nigerian microfinance sub-sector through the security of micro- businesses.

The statement said Ahmad was represented by the Deputy Director, Other Financial Institution Department, CBN, Mrs Idowu Akinlade.

She said, “Financial inclusion, which entails affordable and available access to financial services by every adult in any given country or area, also includes insurance; however, this aspect of financial servicing has been under-emphasised for too long.

“I consider it vital for us, through collaborative efforts, to look deeper into this shadowed aspect of financial inclusion, exchange ideas with our counterparts from other countries, build regulator/operator capacity and tackle issues within the sector to enhance the provision and availability of affordable financial services in Nigeria.”

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Letshego Holdings, parent company of Letshego MFB, Andrew Fening Okai, said, “Microfinance participants should commit to collaborate on building micro-insurance as product of necessity and do it with confidence – adopt and develop clear value propositions while paying attention to simple but efficient distribution channels supported by easy claims resolutions.”

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