The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday took its team of campaigners to Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to enlighten rural dwellers in the area on the importance of financial inclusion to national development.

The initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to achieve 80 per cent rate in financial inclusion by 2020.

Acting Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk
Acting Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk

In her opening remarks at the event, the Acting Director-General of the commission, Ms. Mary Uduk, advised the residents to embrace the initiative which, she said, was organised to ensure that all financial products and services are offered to the financially excluded and under-served people at affordable costs.

The Kwali’s campaign came after similar awareness creation programmes had earlier been carried out by the commission in Karshi, Bwari, Kuje Area Councils and University of Abuja.

Uduk, who was represented by an Assistant Director in the commission, Mr Frank Okafor said:“I ‘d like to invite all of you who are yet to enroll for E-dividend to hurriedly approach your Bankers/Registrars to enable your dividends be electronically sent to your account,”

In his goodwill message, Hilary Ewubor of the Strategy Coordination Office in the financial inclusion secretariat of the CBN, noted that financial inclusion had direct link with economic growth and rural development.

The banker recalled how the bank was able to capture and include a larger number of the unbanked communities in the country through different intervention programmes in furtherance of its financial inclusion drive.

Ewubor therefore urged people at the grassroots to form cooperatives to be able to access the many intervention funds of the central bank, including the Accelerated Agricultural Development Programme – an advanced Anchor Borrowers’ scheme, targeted at the youth.

He pointed out that as part of efforts to make the campaign an all-inclusive one, the apex bank was opening banking halls and using NIPOST as agents in its bid to bring banking operations to rural dwellers.

The representative of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Dr (Mrs) Hyeladzira Ochonogor, who told the people of security of their deposits and investments in the banking system, assured them that “your money will not be lost. Your monies are secured with NDIC.”

The deposit insurance expert encouraged them to open bank accounts to benefit in the numerous advantages of modern financial market, pointing out that “your money in the bank helps to grow the economy.”