The Federal Government hopes to raise Nigeria’s unbanked population to 80% by year end, under a collaboration drive on financial inclusion.
Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) say the telecoms regulatory agency is actively collaborating with sister banking regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to ensure the number of Nigerians without access to financial services is not above 20%.
“The idea is to raise the financial inclusion penetration from below 60 per cent to 80 percent by end of 2020. That is the target of the Federal Government and all agencies in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy are expected to work together, more than ever before, towards deepening the frontier of digital services across Nigeria,” Danbatta says when received a visiting NIPOST team led by Dr. Ismail Adewusi, Postmaster General of the Federation.
“The idea is to raise the financial inclusion penetration from below 60 per cent to 80 percent by end of 2020. That is the target of the Federal Government and all agencies in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy are expected to work together, more than ever before, towards deepening the frontier of digital services across Nigeria.”
During the meeting the NCC and NIPOST discussed key areas of collaborations between the two agencies towards strengthening delivery of their respective mandates and collaborating to advance the digital economy agenda of Nigeria’s Federal Government.
Danbatta tells the NIPOST team that the Commission was committed to fostering synergy and strategic collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Federal and State Government, especially with those sister agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy like NIPOST.
The NCC chief says that one of the mandates of NIPOST is to deepen access to certain government services in all the 774 local government areas in the country, and expresses the Commission’s readiness to support NIPOST with resilient telecoms infrastructure that allows the postal agency to jointly contribute to increasing access to financial Inclusion in the country.
On his part, the Postmaster General of Nigerian Postal Service, the vision for NIPOST by the Federal Government “is to ensure that it continues to play the role of universal service postage as well as offering auxiliary services such as transportation logistics and financial services. So, the mandate of the new Governing Board of NIPOST is to ensure that NIPOST is at the frontiers of the services rendered.”
NIPOST is part of the active agencies pushing the frontiers of the Financial Inclusion Strategy 2018 of the CBN for the country, according to the Postmaster General, saying that government agency has been playing more active roles in taking millions of Nigerians in rural communities out of poverty.
Adewusi says the collaboration with the Commission with regard to Internet connectivity and broadband penetration is necessary especially in the rural areas where Internet access is limited.
The Postmaster General says that both agencies can work together to expand access to the Internet, particularly in the rural communities where NIPOST has existing infrastructure.
He also wants both agencies to collaborate on the provision of access to affordable Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services such as e-government and other e-services to the underserved and unserved areas of the country, through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).