Kano State Government has directed the State Ministry of Finance and that of Commerce and Industries to set up a committee to identify areas that are in need of banks services across the 44 Local Government Areas of the State.
The State Governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje made the disclosure today Monday during the Flag-off ceremony of the Account Opening Week held at the Emir’s Palace of Gaya Emirate, in Gaya Local Government Area.
Dr. Ganduje explained that opening banks account by people in the State is an integral part of economic develpoment which could only be possible when banks branches are opened in those areas where their services are much needed.
” We mandated the State Ministries of Finance and that of Commerce to form a committee that will go round and identify areas that need banks services and Government on its own part will provide the land to the banks ” he said.
Abdullahi Ganduje represented by his Deputy Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna lamented that despite the population and huge economic activities of the State, Kano is the 36th State in Nigeria in the financial inclusion rate, a position that need to be changed by now.
” The essence of today’s programme is to sensitize people on the need to open account to increase the level of financial inclusion in the State. Record shows that over 75.2% of our population are excluded in the financial inclusion rate which is very alarming.
” With out bank account, people stand to loose somany opportunities especially in terms of economic empowerment and other support programmes by Government where bank accounts are most needed ” Ganduje added.
The Governor therefore urged people in the State to come enmass and make sure that they use the week to open their bank account considering how the process is being simplified for their own benefits.
Ganduje challenged that banks should extend their branches to the major cities where businesses and economic activies are taking place, stressing that…” people from those areas face a lot of difficulties while travelling far away to deposit or withdraw money “.
He further appreciated the commitment of the Central Bank of Nigeria and other stakeholders for the good initiative and assured of the State Government’s support towards achieving better result.
In his remarks, the Emir of Gaya Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir accounted that since the year 1980 when Savannah Bank was first established in Gaya,. there was no single bank being introduced despite the commercial activities that characterized the area.
” Since that time, the people of Gaya and other Local Government Areas under the emirate still have no access to banks, sometimes have to travel to Jigawa for banking services ” the Emir complained.
Earlier, the Branch Controller Central Bank of Nigeria, Kano Alhaji Ali Abdulkadir Idris revealed that the week had been set aside by the CBN and other Banks across the Country to allow people open bank accounts so as to enhance the level of financial inclusion in Nigeria from 63.2% to 80% by 2020.
He diisclosed that ” at the beginning of this programme, six States are selected including Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Kano, Gombe and Ondo State. Our banks Agents together with representatives of National Identity Card Commission will be at the 44 Local Government Areas of the State to ensure the smooth conduct of the exercise “.
During the flag-off, good messages were delivered by the Banks representatives and other stakeholders in Nigeria.