CBN, Bill Gates to partner on financial inclusion


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have finalized plans for a collaborative effort focused on financial inclusion. In a recent statement, the CBN announced that strategic discussions were held between the two entities to explore deeper collaboration in enhancing financial inclusion in Nigeria.

During the discussions, Folashodun Shonubi, the Acting Governor of the CBN, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to partnering with the BMGF and other development partners. He emphasized the need for innovative solutions to drive access to finance and acknowledged that while progress has been made in various aspects of financial inclusion, challenges remain in achieving the desired level of inclusion in Nigeria. Shonubi called for increased collaboration between the CBN and the BMGF to address these challenges.

The CBN highlighted the BMGF’s support for financial inclusion in Nigeria since 2012, describing it as a strategic partner that has facilitated initiatives such as the Nigeria Financial Services Maps and the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy. The partnership has also included research on financial exclusion and digital financial services in Nigeria, among other activities aimed at accelerating access to financial services.

Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, outlined the foundation’s areas of focus for continued engagement in Nigeria, which include health, agriculture, and financial services. Gates expressed satisfaction that the support provided by his organization has been instrumental in driving development in Nigeria. However, he acknowledged the existence of challenges and gaps and expressed optimism that Nigeria would experience improved outcomes with the implementation of new economic and monetary policies.

The discussions involved the presence of the Acting CBN Governor, accompanied by Aishah Ahmad, the Deputy Governor of Financial System Stability (FSS). The partnership between the CBN and the BMGF signifies a joint commitment to advancing financial inclusion in Nigeria and addressing the existing gaps in the financial system.

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