By Ginika Okoye
The Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria (CFAN) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include housing as part of its financial inclusion strategy.
Mr Emmanuel Atama, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of CFAN, made the appeal at the 6th CFAN summit in Abuja on Tuesday.
Atama said that including housing in the financial inclusion drive of the CBN would help CFAN members in the rural areas to have better access to housing and be financially included.
He said the summit was aimed at accessing how financial inclusion products could create jobs and wealth for a more secured living among the cooperative movement in the country.
The executive secretary listed the CBN’s financial inclusion products to include savings, credit, pension, insurance and capital market.
“The summit will dwell on three major issues of housing, agriculture and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“The CBN should include housing in their financial inclusion drive.
“The way that monies are allocated to MSMEs, they should also consider housing,’’ he said.
The President of CFAN, Alhaji Sadeeq Abubakar, said the summit was to analyse the cooperative business environment with a view to addressing the challenges and prospect into the opportunities that abound in the economy.
Abubakar said the financial inclusion products and drive of the CBN had positively impacted member of CFAN.
Dr Paul Oluikpe, Head, Financial Inclusion of CBN, said that stakeholders collaboration was key to improving financial inclusion in the country.
Oluikpe, represented by Mrs Comfort Okafor of the bank, said the importance attached to Cooperative development as a critical pillar for driving financial inclusion of adult Nigerians could not be over-emphasised.
Mr Madu Hamman, the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), said the Cooperative Housing Development Loan (CHDL) of the bank provided construction funding for cooperatives registered under National Housing Fund (NHF).
Hamman, represented by his Special Assistant, Mr Dominic Agabi, said the bank had extended its cooperative loan window to the informal sector.
He said the extension was to enable every citizen to have equal access to both construction and off take financing.
The managing director said the loan was disbursed to cooperative societies at an interest rate of 9.5 per cent.
Hamman who corroborated CFAN’s appeal for housing to be included as one of the financial inclusion strategy, said it would help more cooperators access housing loans.
The two-day summit attracted cooperative societies and members from different states. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams