BusinessDay

Mobile money, bank agents seek framework for sustaining financial inclusion gains

Concerned about sustaining gains achieved in the financial inclusion initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Association of mobile money and bank agents are seeking to explore suitable framework.

The group under the umbrella body of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) in its 2021 Conference slated to hold between November 16 and 18, 2021 at National Women Development Centre, Abuja will have as its theme “Sustaining the Gain of Financial Inclusion: Exploring suitable framework for last mile Drivers”.

Victor Olojo, national president, AMMBAN, said that the conference will be looking into the best ways for last mile drivers to sustain the gains of financial inclusion.

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“Looking back over the past five years that AMMBAN started, we are happy to say that we have witnessed meaningful gain in the industry. For instance, Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) has recorded 700,000 mobile money and banking agents spread across the country. This is a good sign that we have made progress and the federal government financial inclusion target has been met and exceeded.”

“We believe that we need to ensure that we work and build on these gains by creating a sustainable framework that will make us to achieve the results we desire, beyond getting the numbers, other things need to be put in place such as regulations, proper framework, agents welfare and security of agents, issues around broadening the scope and ensuring that we are able to do other services beyond cash-in cash-out such as insurance, micro-pension, micro – investment for us to be able to capture the informal market, he said.

He said that the AMMBAN Conference is an atmosphere where stakeholders in the industry such as SANEF, CBN, Banks among others, will discuss on how to sustain the gains achieved in the Financial Inclusion Policy.

“AMMBAN has been instrumental in conducting training on agent on-boarding and also helping a number of institutions in the sector in realising or achieving their business objectives by taking their services into the hinterland.”

“AMMBAN is a very good medium of feedback to the industry on how we can improve and get better.

Most importantly, the conference will create a framework or avenue where we can be able to seat with policy makers, regulators among others to discuss on ways to get better on what we do,” he stated.

It would be recalled that members of the Association has become targets of armed robbery attacks prompting the need for collaboration with law enforcement agents on protecting them.

According to Olojo, these worrisome attacks which have sadly resulted in the deaths of some of our members and loss of money and valuables have further highlighted the fact that we have become soft targets and run even greater risks in the face of a wide scale insecurity in the country.

Whilst the Association is exploring effective ways to confronting the situation and as well engaging relevant security outfits to finding a lasting solution to this menace, we will like to admonish that our members take adequate precautions and be circumspect in their dealings.

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