The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) recently engaged in strategic discussions aimed at strengthening their collaboration on financial inclusion in Nigeria.
The meeting, held in Abuja, highlighted the commitment of both organizations to finding innovative solutions for enhancing access to finance.
During the meeting, Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, the Acting Governor of the CBN, emphasized the bank’s dedication to partnering with the BMGF and other development partners.
While acknowledging the significant progress made in various aspects of financial inclusion, Mr. Shonubi stressed that challenges still exist in achieving the desired level of financial inclusion in Nigeria.
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He called for greater cooperation between the CBN and the BMGF to address these challenges effectively.
Mr. Shonubi, accompanied by Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, the Deputy Governor of Financial System Stability (FSS), highlighted the importance of collaboration between the CBN and the BMGF in driving access to finance for all segments of Nigeria’s population.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, underscored the foundation’s focus areas for continued engagement in Nigeria.
These areas include health, agriculture, and financial services.
Mr. Gates expressed satisfaction with the positive impact his organization has had in catalyzing developmental action in Nigeria.
While acknowledging the existing challenges and gaps, he remained optimistic about the country’s prospects, citing the new economic and monetary policies currently in place.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been a strategic partner of the CBN since 2012, actively supporting financial inclusion initiatives in Nigeria.
Through their partnership, numerous strategic initiatives have been implemented, including the Nigeria Financial Services Maps, which enables geospatial mapping of access points.
Additionally, the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in 2012, revised in 2018, has played a crucial role in expanding financial access.
The partnership has also facilitated research on financial exclusion, scoping of digital financial services, and various other activities aimed at accelerating access to financial services.
Accompanying Mr. Gates were Christopher Elias, President of Global Development at BMGF, and Abi Jagun, Senior Programme Officer at BMGF.
The CBN team included Mr. Philip Yila Yusuf, Director of Development Finance, and Dr. Paul Oluikpe, Head of Financial Inclusion.