A deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs Aisha Ahmad, has described the gender gap in financial inclusion, which is eight per cent in Nigeria and nine per cent globally, as worrisome, stressing that there is a need to develop strategies and initiatives for policymakers to implement in time bridging the gap.
She disclosed this while speaking during a national roundtable with the themed: “Women’s Financial Inclusion and Economic Recovery, Post COVID-19”, hosted by New Faces, New Voices-Nigeria (NFNV-Nigeria), a pan-African women in finance network under the Graça Machel Trust (GMT).
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According to her, in a bid to drive inclusive economic growth, the CBN deployed several SME-targeted interventions during the pandemic, including the $50bn Targeted Credit Facility disbursed to over 700,000 beneficiaries, 45 per cent of which was disbursed to women as at January, 2022.
She further said women constituted 33 per cent of the beneficiaries of the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), just as 60.3 per cent of beneficiaries of the CBN’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) was women.
She said, “We recently launched the framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria which aims at closing the gender gap in financial inclusion, which is eight per cent in Nigeria and nine per cent globally.”