Governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje puts his weight behind Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN ) Account Opening Week programme slated for early December, this year, at Gaya Emir's Palace.
The programme is taking place nationwide, with one state from each of the six geo-political zones, as Kano represents Northwest zone.
Ganduje lamented that the high level of financial exclusion and low level of financial inclusion must be changed for better. A situation that does not tally with the population of the state. Adding that many factors could be responsible for the high level of un-banked people in the state.
"The low level of public enlightenment and the slow pace of other factors that could enhance individual inclusion financially, adversely affect the inclusion status of people in the state. Also lack of banking facilities in our rural areas is not helping matters at all," he observes.
At the state level, he promises that, the state is ready to provide enabling environment for an adequate and effective financial inclusion strategy, encouraging that, "Security is the best enabler to usher in an environment that is friendly for such businesses to thrive. Kano is the most peaceful state in the federation. We also have other factors put in place."
Adding that there is concern over the high level of financial exclusion as being experienced by the state, he assured CBN that his government would do everything possible to change the trend.
He also agreed to strengthen the use of opening of bank accounts by beneficiaries of state government empowerment programmes. After commending the Apex Bank for partnership with the state in many areas like agriculture and small scale businesses.
Earlier in his remarks, the Branch Controller of CBN Kano branch, Ali AbdulKadir Idris, said he was at the governor's office to intimate him about some of the things the Apex Bank does in the state.
After disclosing that, the Bank is one of the oldest Branches across the country, he expressed how the Branch is excelling in other areas, he said "We did well in resolving customer complaints, in areas like that of BVN issue, wrong debits by banks, among other complaints. And we have window that deals with such issues."
On financial exclusion that seriously affects Kano, Idris lamented that statistical evidences show that, Kano has the highest rate of financial exclusion compared to others states.
"Kano state has 75.2% of people that are financially excluded. Our hope and aim is to reduce this exclusion. Our target for the outgoing year of 2019 was to get 1.5m, but we were able to get only 20 percent," said the Branch Controller.
There would be 200 Acces Points across all the 44 local governments, according to him, during the exercise, explaining that "The flag-off will take place at Gaya Emir's Palace. And we are requesting His Excellency to kindly support the good work and direct all local governments and Emirates to support and accept this programme."
"We also urge you Sir to link this up with your empowerment programmes in the state. This will go a long way in drastically reducing the high rate of financial exclusion in the state. We are also using this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency over his second coming to office. And your victory at the Election Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, Kaduna," said Idris.
He further reveals that in the last Five years, CBN Kano Branch has been winning First, Second and Third positions in terms of performance among all other Branches across the country.
As Kano Branch is doing well, according to him, "The victory is not that of the CBN office alone, it is that of all our stakeholders at the same time. The Kano state government particularly."