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FG Unveils Aso Accord For Universal Financial Access

THE Federal Government has unveiled the Aso Accord on Economic and Financial Inclusion, a multi-pronged blueprint designed to achieve universal access to financial services across Nigeria.

The accord, signed on Thursday, April 25 2024 at the State House Banquet Hall, represents a core pillar of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda to transform the nation into a $1tn economy by 2030 while combating poverty and insecurity through broad-based prosperity.

The Vice President’s Spokesperson, Stanley Nkwocha, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday entitled “FG targets universal financial access, unveils Aso Accord on economic and financial inclusion.’


Nkwocha said the accord would leverage comprehensive policy reforms and strategic investments and chart a roadmap to bridge the significant gaps that have left millions of Nigerians, without vital financial services such as credit, insurance, pensions, and savings facilities.

These include underserved segments such as women, youth, rural communities and small businesses,

According to a communique issued at the end of the two-day National Stakeholders’ Workshop on Economic and Financial Inclusion by the Technical Advisor to the President on Financial Inclusion, Dr Nurudeen Zauro, “Financial inclusion is an imperative, not just an economic objective, but a moral calling to unlock opportunities for every Nigerian to achieve their potential.”

Zauro whose office spearheaded the initiative said, “The Aso Accord provides a robust framework to democratize access to finance, empower entrepreneurs and catalyse sustainable economic growth from the bottom up.”

Key elements of the accord include establishing a high-level Presidential Council to spearhead reforms, potentially through an Executive Order, and prioritizing innovative solutions, including government-to-person programmes to directly invest in underserved communities.

It also aims to integrate financial literacy into the national curriculum, bridging the digital divide by strengthening ICT infrastructure nationwide and addressing gender gaps, and rural exclusion regional gaps in Northern Nigeria.

The Aso Accord is expected to enhance service delivery for small businesses and low-income citizens and foster collaboration across the public and private sectors, as well as different levels of government.

The accord was signed last Thursday by Vice President Kashim Shettima; Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Yemi Cardoso and National Security Adviser of Nigeria, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, signed the Accord on behalf of the 36 states while the Managing Director/CEO of Sterling Bank PLC, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, signed on behalf of the private sector.

“By enabling every Nigerian, regardless of their circumstances, to access credit, save, invest and insure their lives and businesses, we can fuel an entrepreneurial revolution that drives economic transformation across the country,” said Zauro.

The two-day national workshop culminated in key resolutions that align the Aso Accord with the overall National Financial Inclusion Strategy, including leveraging technology for last-mile service delivery, promoting financial literacy, addressing gender and regional disparities, and strengthening digital infrastructure nationwide.

He added, “Financial exclusion perpetuates generational poverty, but financial inclusion catalyzes economic citizenship and empowerment.

“The Aso Accord reflects the President’s determination to leave no Nigerian behind on our journey to sustainable prosperity.” [The Punch]

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