Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Presidency, 36 States, Private Sector Sign Aso Accord To Transform Nigeria into $1tn Economy By 2030

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The federal government has unveiled the Aso Accord on Economic and Financial Inclusion, a multi-pronged blueprint designed to achieve universal access to financial services across Nigeria.

The accord, signed last Thursday in Abuja, was made public on Tuesday via a communique issued by Technical Advisor to the President on Financial Inclusion, Dr. Nurudeen Abubakar Zauro. It represents a core pillar of President Bola Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda to transform the country into a $1 trillion economy by 2030, while combating poverty and insecurity through broad-based prosperity.

The accord was signed by Vice President Kashim Shettima; Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Yemi Cardoso; and National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, signed on behalf of the 36 states, while Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc., Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, signed on behalf of the private sector.

Leveraging comprehensive policy reforms and strategic investments, the Aso Accord charts a roadmap to bridge the significant gaps that have left millions of Nigerians, particularly underserved segments, like women, youth, rural communities, and small businesses, without vital financial services, like credit, insurance, pensions, and savings facilities.

According to the communique issued at the end of a two-day National Stakeholders’ Workshop on Economic and Financial Inclusion by Zauro, “Financial inclusion is an imperative, not just an economic objective, but a moral calling to unlock opportunities for every Nigerian to achieve their potential.”

Zauro, whose office spearheaded the initiative, said, “The Aso Accord provides a robust framework to democratise access to finance, empower entrepreneurs and catalyse sustainable economic growth from the bottom up.”

Key elements of the accord include establishing a high-level Presidential Council to spearhead reforms, potentially through an Executive Order, and prioritising innovative solutions, including government-to-person (G2P) programmes to directly invest in underserved communities.

It also aims to integrate financial literacy into the national curriculum, bridging the digital divide by strengthening ICT infrastructure nationwide, addressing gender gaps, rural exclusion, regional gap in the Northern Nigeria, enhancing service delivery for small businesses and low-income citizens, and fostering collaboration across the public and private sectors, as well as different levels of government.

Zauro said, “By enabling every Nigerian, regardless of their circumstances, to access credit, save, invest and insure their lives and businesses, we can fuel an entrepreneurial revolution that drives economic transformation across the country.”

The two-day national workshop culminated in key resolutions that aligned the Aso Accord with the overall National Financial Inclusion Strategy, including leveraging technology for last-mile service delivery, promoting financial literacy, addressing gender and regional disparities, and strengthening digital infrastructure nationwide.

Zauro added, “Financial exclusion perpetuates generational poverty, but financial inclusion catalysis economic citizenship and empowerment. The Aso Accord reflects the president’s determination to leave no Nigerian behind on our journey to sustainable prosperity

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