The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, says the Bank has issued gender-mandated regulations to pave way for gender diversity and inclusiveness at the top management levels in the Nigerian banking industry.
Emefiele disclosed this yesterday while addressing participants at a webinar hosted by the Deputy Governor in charge of the Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate, Mrs Aishah Ahmad, as part of activities to commemorate the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) at the CBN.
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He said CBN has since surpassed affirmative action with 32% of the total workforce being female.
He reiterated that the CBN had also issued a policy that requires a minimum of 30% of female representation on boards and 40% at the top management level in the Banking Industry. This, he said, was similar to the National Financial Inclusion Strategy that recommends increasing female staff of microfinance banks to 30%.
According to him, the Bank, in an effort to to increase representation of women in the industry had been using the gender diversity model as part of the criteria for approving the membership of boards of institutions under its regulatory purview.
He emphasized that such gender mandates were necessary to breaking the bias in the Nigerian Banking industry, stressing that eight out of the 23 bank CEOs, representing 35 per cent, were women, which was way above the global average.
The governor disclosed that females had benefitted hugely from the bank’s intervention programmes noting that out of N134.67 billion disbursed to 37,273 AGSMEIS beneficiaries, as of January 2022, 33% (N44.1 billion) went to 12,511 female beneficiaries.
Similarly, out of N349.51 billion disbursed to 712,442 total beneficiaries under the TCF, he said 45% (N159.21 bn) went to 330,128 female beneficiaries, adding that the MSME Development Fund (MSMEDF) was designed to allocate at least 60% of the fund to women and women-owned enterprises of which 60.3% of the of 229,579 beneficiaries are women.
Furthermore, he said out of the 211,306 financial statements currently registered in the collateral registry, 92,091, representing 43.6% were female borrowers.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability (FSS) Mrs Aishah Ahmad, expressed appreciation to the Governor and other Deputy Governors for their constant support towards women and their wellbeing.
She said that the commemoration of the International Women’s Day was an opportunity to celebrate women for their progress, achievements and their contributions to the society.