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The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have finalised the plan to drive financial inclusion in the country.

According to a statement from the apex bank on Sunday, the two groups recently held a strategic meeting on how to deepen collaboration on financial inclusion in Nigeria.

During the meeting, the CBN’s Acting Governor, Mr Folashodun Shonubi, reiterated the commitment of the apex bank to continually partner with BMGF and other development partners to explore innovative solutions for driving access to finance.

The acting CBN governor also noted that the move for financial inclusion in Nigeria faced a number of challenges.

The statement read in part, “Mr Shonubi, who was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Mrs Aishah Ahmad, disclosed that though much progress had been made in various aspects of financial inclusion, some challenges still remained in attaining the desired level of financial inclusion in Nigeria. He, therefore, called for greater partnership between the Bank and the BMGF.”

In his remarks, the Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bill Gates, stated that the foundation’s focus areas for continued engagement in Nigeria included health, agriculture and financial services.

The statement added, “Mr Gates expressed satisfaction that support from his organisation was catalysing developmental action in Nigeria. While noting that there were still challenges and gaps, he expressed optimism that the country would witness better outcomes given the new economic and monetary policies currently in place in Nigeria.

“The BMGF has supported financial inclusion in Nigeria since 2012 and has been a strategic partner of the CBN in driving innovation to reach excluded segments of Nigeria’s population with financial products and services.

“The partnership has brought about strategic initiatives such as the Nigeria financial services maps, a gateway for geospatial mapping of access points, the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in 2012 and a revision in 2018, research into financial exclusion, scoping of digital financial services in Nigeria, and many more activities that help accelerate access to financial services.”

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