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Nigeria: As CBN, Efina Unveil Framework for Women’s Financial Inclusion

Nigeria: As CBN, Efina Unveil Framework for Women’s Financial Inclusion

Lagos — With the growing global focus and debate over gender-based discrimination across almost all levels of human interaction, forward-thinking leaders are clamoring for the needed change to close the gender gap.

According to UN Women, over the past decade, 131 countries have passed laws to support gender equality. However following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, some of these gains may have been lost, particularly with regards to the financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women.

Several studies confirm the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, pushing them out of both formal and informal employment, businesses and in some cases entirely from the financial system.

These are some of the thoughts that led to the development and launch of the Framework for Advancing Women’s Financial Inclusion in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the Financial Inclusion Special Interventions Working Group (FISIWG), Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) and Women’s World Banking (WWB).

At the e-Launch of the Framework, which held recently, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Mrs. Aishah N. Ahmad, presented a clearer picture on financial inclusion of women in Nigeria.

“According to EFINA, the female financial exclusion rate was 40.9 per cent in 2018 compared with 32.5 per cent for men. This gap may have widened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic given women’s primary responsibility for caregiving, likelihood to be frontline health workers and their predominance in the informal sector which has been severely affected by the coronavirus induced-lock down”

She further stated that, “the negative effects of the pandemic on women’s financial inclusion have manifested in the context of existing structural challenges which have kept women out of the financial system such as cultural norms, lower education and financial literacy levels, poverty, high cost of financial services,

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Nigeria: Financial Inclusion – CBN Plans to Eliminate Gender Gap By 2024

Nigeria: Financial Inclusion – CBN Plans to Eliminate Gender Gap By 2024

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said it will eliminate gender gap in financial inclusion by 2024 using its latest released framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria.

The framework, according to the apex bank, builds on the revised targets of the 2018 National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which aims at reducing the financially excluded adult population to 20 percent by the end of this year.

But the apex bank has said that the achievement of the goal was disrupted by the emergence of the Corona Virus Pandemic.

According to Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFiNA) 2018 survey report, the gender gap in financial access is present across regions, income groups and age groups, indicating that there are systemic obstacles to women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria and women are still more likely than men to rely exclusively on informal financial services.

It stated: “While women in the North West and North East are most likely to be excluded, the highest relative gender gap is in the South West (23 percent for women and 14 percent for men).”

The apex bank cited Demand-related barrier, supply related barrier, legal regulatory/supervisory barrier and financial and technical infrastructure barrier as key barriers to women financial inclusion in the country.

It however noted that the framework has set up eight strategies to enable the attainment of an equal gender financial inclusion by 2024.

The CBN said: “The strategic imperatives are consistent with the priorities identified and adopted in the 2018 National Financial Inclusion Strategy, in addition, they take into account the December 2019 Assessment of Women’s Financial Inclusion in Nigeria.

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Nigeria: Abu – Adequate Telecoms Towers Will Bridge Infrastructure Gap

Nigeria: Abu – Adequate Telecoms Towers Will Bridge Infrastructure Gap

The Chief Executive Officer of Pan African Towers Limited, an indigenous infrastructure company, Mr. Wole Abu, speaks about the need for government to support additional deployment of telecoms masts and towers, to bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure gap and enhance access to telecoms services in underserved communities. Excerpts:

What’s your general assessment of the infrastructure segment of the African telecoms market, where you currently operate?

The infrastructure segment of the African telecoms market has actually seen a lot of growth since the entrance of major players at the global level into Africa around 2012. From then, infrastructure and tower deals have grown year on year. Also, it is beginning to see cloud and fibre deployment at an increasing rate in Africa. So, infrastructure for telecommunication is growing and this is being driven by demand. In terms of adequacy, off course, there is still a demand-supply gap. Infrastructure is still not adequate. We still have a huge gap in that space. In Nigeria, filling the gap will demand an estimated investment worth $136 billion, according to the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) .

Over the years, and even before the coming of Pan-African Towers, deploying infrastructure has been faced with some bottlenecks. What are those challenges you have identified since you commenced operation?

Truly, many challenges are bedeviling the sector. There are social challenges like theft, vandalism, community issues and so on. And also, there are the business environment issues like multiple taxation, unfavourable or harsh government policies, forex scarcity and lack of long-term capital for investment in infrastructure in local currency. All these are the issues. Then of course, you also look at failure in power supply. Availability of power is important since all telecoms infrastructure, which are distributed across the country, rely on

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First Bank reinforces financial inclusion, disburses N17 billion | The Guardian Nigeria News

First Bank reinforces financial inclusion, disburses N17 billion | The Guardian Nigeria News

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a leading financial inclusion services provider, recently announced that loans in excess of N17 billion had been disbursed to individuals, across the country. The loan disbursement is carried-out through FirstAdvance, its digital lending solution.

FirstAdvance is designed to offer convenient and easy access to cash for salary earners whose accounts are domiciled with FirstBank and have received regular salaries for two months, prior to the loan request. In barely a year since the launch of FirstAdvance, over 128,000 unique customers in over 782,996 successful transactions have so far benefitted from loans.

Processing a loan with FirstAdvance is implemented in less than a minute and it is accessed in two ways, the USSD code or the Bank’s recently upgraded mobile banking application, FirstMobile. Customers are advised to upgrade their FirstMobile App to the latest version on android and ios for requests via the App.  

Further to its pursuit of providing options to Nigerians across all income bands, FirstBank’s also offers Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS), to individuals in paid employment, who need long term loan to meet their financial obligation more especially as the economy returns to normalcy post COVID-19 pandemic and as schools resume. FirsBank’s Personal Loan guarantees a convenient repayment plan of up to 60 months.

“Meeting the needs of our customers have always been our priority and we are delighted with the volume of loans disbursed to Nigerians as it reinforces the confidence of Nigerian workers in FirstAdvance, our digital lending solution and also our long-term offerings through Personal Loans for people in paid employment” said Gbenga Shobo, FirstBank’s Deputy Managing Director.   

“We are excited that FirstAdvance has been added to the channels through which we deepen financial inclusion as it is no doubt an expansion of our commitment and support to every

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Nigeria Battles Covid-19 With New Small Business Support Fund

Nigeria Battles Covid-19 With New Small Business Support Fund

(Bloomberg) — Nigeria will help cushion small business owners impacted by the coronavirus with grants from a 75 billion naira ($195.5 million) fund, its trade and investment ministry said.



a group of people standing in front of a store: A young woman wearing a hijab carries goods on her head as she walks through Orange Market in Mararaba, Nigeria, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. By the end of the year, as many as 12,000 people globally could die a day from hunger linked to Covid-19, potentially more than those perishing from the virus itself, charity Oxfam International estimates.


© Bloomberg
A young woman wearing a hijab carries goods on her head as she walks through Orange Market in Mararaba, Nigeria, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. By the end of the year, as many as 12,000 people globally could die a day from hunger linked to Covid-19, potentially more than those perishing from the virus itself, charity Oxfam International estimates.

Close to a million people are expected to benefit from credit support to meet payroll obligations, fulfill official registration requirements and improve their operations hampered by Covid-19-related disruptions, according to a statement on the website of the ministry.

At least 45% of the beneficiaries will be businesses run by women, with another 5% reserved for people with special needs, the ministry said. The funds will be drawn from President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2.3 trillion naira virus stimulus package.

Almost half of Nigeria’s 200 million population fall among the poor who suffered more from the economic impact of the coronavirus.

(Corrects stimulus amount in third paragraph)

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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