Efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide banking services to millions of rural dwellers got a boost with the appointment of 2 Super Agents.
The Super Agents under the new arrangement would employ others agents with a view to widening banking services in local communities.
Tokunbo Martins, Director of Banking services of the CBN speaking after meeting of the Bankers Committee in Lagos said the industry is fully committed to supporting the real sector for the purpose of improving economic fortunes of the country.
The 2 Super Agents Interswitch and Innovated Limited are to boost agency banking which the Apex Bank unveiled to distribute banking services at cheaper rate.
The Committee is also committed to enhancing the Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) that was launched in March.
The scheme targets 10,000 Youth Entrepreneurs and focuses on critical sectors of the economy, which include, Agriculture, manufacturing and Cottage industry.
Beneficiaries of the program are in 3 categories, which are in the category of serving youth corps members, post NYSC members of 5 years and artisans.
Also speaking, managing director of GT Bank Segun Agbaje stressed the need for government to reposition the economy.
Agbaje said that with oil price sliding from $115 per barrel to around $37 “we have to make adjustment, our living habit will change a bit because we have less money to spend. We have to depend more on import substitution, we have to develop things locally and join hands to support and make the best out of it”.
Nnamdi Okonkwo managing director of Fidelity Bank in his comment said the Committee focusses activities on economic development.
Okonkwo said the meeting discussed the implementation of the CRR, which was reduced by 5 percent to enable banks give loans to the real sector borrowers at Single Digit.
The meeting also agreed that the CBN will work out modalities and take actions toward releasing 5 percent drop in CRR to banks to enable them give loans at Single Digit to the real sector.
“The Committee resolved to accelerate the disbursement of the 5% CRR and we are looking at Agriculture, Manufacturing and Petroleum Imports”, he said.
The committee also discussed on the need to diversify the economy, and according to Tomi Somefun, the Managing Director of Unity Bank, they have identified Agriculture as the area where support will be given. She said that a pilot program has been lunched in Kebbi where 78,000 farmers has been enrolled and has been supported to acquire many acres of land to farm.
She further stressed that the committee have the intention of replicating this program in Ebonyi and Anambra State as the raining season is about to set in, adding that this is their own way of supporting the government.