German agency deepens financial literacy programme in Nigeria - THE GUARDIAN
By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
To bridge financial inclusion gap in Nigeria, the German Government has restated commitment to deepening financial literacy across the country, to empower people with a set of skills and knowledge to enable them to make informed and effective decisions with their financial resources.
The programme, captured in a Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme – SEDIN, was inaugurated by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Speaking at a workshop in Abuja, where the agency trained over about 24 Nigerians, who would in exchange train citizens across all states of the federation, stakeholders disclosed that lack of financial literacy skills remains a critical barrier to national development.
The agency said the objective of the programme was to improve access to financial services and to build financial competencies of owners and employees of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as other economically-active segments of the Nigerian society, with a focus on the special needs of women and the youth.
Head, Access to Finance, GIZ, Dennis Fischer, who disclosed that over €31 million have been earmarked for the Programme in Nigeria, noted that there was a need to facilitate access to finance in the country.
Fischer said: “There is a need to build the capacity of economically-active population part of the ‘Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme’, supported by Germany. They need to have financial confidence. We hope to make positive impact on Nigeria and facilitate access to finance.”
With the launch of an improved Financial Literacy Training Package, which received input from members of the Nigerian Financial Literacy Working Group, national and international experts, financial literacy trainers, and representatives of urban and rural target groups, Fischer said women across rural communities would equally be empowered with financial literacy skills.
According to him, the workshop on the updated Training Package is for certified trainers from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, and other partner organisations that have successfully integrated financial literacy into their activities in cooperation with GIZ.
Fischer noted that the programme enhanced the financial capabilities of nearly 70,000 beneficiaries, with 40 per cent of them being women.
A participant, who heads an Edo-based Society for the Empowerment of Young Persons, Jenifer Ero, said financial freedom skills have been introduced to most of the refugees, who have returned to the country, especially from Libya.
Stressing on the essence of the training, Ero said: “When you give people vocational training without financial literacy training, then you have not done a good job.”