By Tony Obiechina, Gombe
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Friday restated its resolve to empower women economically through the microfinance institutions.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele who made this known at the 27th Seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in Gombe, noted that the bank was concerned about increasing access to finance by the poor, enhance job creation as well as poverty reduction.
The theme of the seminar, “Repositioning Micro-Finance Banks for Real Sector Growth”, was attended by financial journalists from Lagos and Abuja.
Represented by the CBN Deputy Governor (Corporate Services), Mr Edward Adamu, Emefiele disclosed that the CBN had recently carried out some reforms in the microfinance sub sector with the aim of increasing the share of micro credit to at least 20 per cent by 2020.
“By increasing access to credit and related services to the economically active segment of the low income population, microfinance directly contributes to expanding the production base of the economy.
“In a developing country like ours, the link between microfinance and the real sector is quite strong. Microfinance banks are conceived to serve as critical financial lubricants for the real sector, which is the pillar of sustained economic growth.
“At the moment, economic policy in Nigeria faces a major challenge of reviving growth which is the only sure path to ending pervasive poverty. Microfinance has worked in this regard in many climes and promises to work in Nigeria if we get this right,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Gombe State Governor, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo said in spite of the low amount the state receives from the federation account, it had been able to utilise it efficiently.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Charles Iliya said the present administration had in the last eight years transformed the state by being prudent managers of scarce resources.
“We thank the CBN for some of its initiatives, especially in agriculture, which members of the state have benefited from. We want to also thank the CBN for all the assistance they have given to communities in Gombe state, ” he noted.
In his opening remarks. the CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor said that the seminar was organised for financial reporters to update them on the activities and interventions of the Apex Bank.
“We believe that it is only when we train those who write and educate Nigerians about the economy that people will understand and key into the financial system,”, he said.