Group Head (Retail Operations), Access Bank, Mr Abraham Aziegbe has attributed the stunted growth and national economic development of the country over the years to the fact that over 40 million Nigerians are without bank accounts.
Speaking at the opening of a new branch of the bank at Apomu in Isokan Local Government Area of Osun State on Friday, he said the most pragmatic approach to the defect was to institutionalise financial inclusion in all the communities of Nigeria to give opportunities for small business owners to grow and contribute immensely to the national economy.
He said the banking sector has a huge role to play in transforming both the micro and macro-economy of the nation into posterity and sustainable growth, adding that Access Bank was collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reposition the economy through the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“We recognise the fact that there are many Nigerians who are still under-banked. By estimation, over 40m Nigerians do not have a bank account. Asides millions of individuals who involve in daily economic activities outside the banking system, there are thousands of small and medium business owners who are transacting without banks.
“This situation informed our resolve to entrench financial inclusion mechanism in the urban centres and remote communities to incorporate Nigerians into banking creed. It is on this note that our bank embarks on an aggressive branch network to redirect the mindsets of many Nigerians towards active banking activities.
“We are working in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to transform the economy and make people, especially small and medium business owners to see a brighter future of huge prosperity through active banking,” Aziegbe said.
He, however, said the decision of the Federal Government to close the Nigerian borders may not have an immediate effect on the macro-economy, noting that its long-run effects would stimulate local productivity by regulating the influx of goods coming into the country and stop turning Nigeria into dumping ground for imported commodities.