An inspiring Day 1 of the ongoing 2022 International Financial Inclusion Conference organized by the Financial Inclusion Governing Committee in Nigeria culminated in the Financial Inclusion Awards Dinner Dinner which held on the 24th November 2022 at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel.
Themed Celebrating Champions of Inclusion, the dinner was well attended by conference delegates, financial system regulators, award nominees and other stakeholders in the Nigeria Financial Inclusion ecosystem.
Several dignitaries graced the occasion including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who was Special Guest of Honor the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Femi Lijadu, the Chief Executive Officer of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited, Mr. Uju Ifejika, Deputy Governors and Board Members of the Central Bank of Nigeria, amongst others.
Speaking on behalf of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN Mrs Aishah Ahmad noted that the maiden financial inclusion awards were conceived to acknowledge and celebrate individuals and institutions who played a key role in advancing financial inclusion in Nigeria since the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) was launched a decade ago. She thanked the Special Guest of Honor, Mr Boss Mustapha and the Hon Minister of Affairs Dame Paulen Tallen for their support, stating that their presence was a strong signal of collaboration by regulators and government on financial inclusion.
In her keynote remarks, Mrs. Uju Ifejika highlighted the strategic importance of financial literacy and practical investment knowledge as a tool to achieving Financial Inclusion. The Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, commended the Central Bank of Nigeria for hosting the conference and spotlighting financial inclusion given its positive impact on the welfare of Nigerian citizens. The Honorable Minister of Women affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, and the Chairman of the Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Femi Lijadu, both emphasized collaboration across the public and private sector to ensure all Nigerians participate fully participants in the Nigerian economy through financial inclusion.
Amidst live entertainment, spoken word and cultural performances showcasing Nigeria’s rich culture to the world, the business of the evening, the very first Financial Inclusion award in the country was as exciting as it was inspiring.
Ten (10) deserving institutions were provided with awards in different categories during the dinner following a rigorous and transparent nomination and selection process superintended by Price WaterHouse Cooper (PWC). The Following winners emerged during the award ceremony;
1. Financial Inclusion Innovation Award – Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access
2. National Women’s Financial Inclusion Award – Access Bank
3. Financially Inclusive Bank of the Year – Jaiz Bank
4. Financially Inclusive MFB of the year – Lapo MFB Ltd
5. Financially Inclusive Fintech of the Year – Remita and Interswitch
6. Inclusive Financial Product Award – Liberty Assured Ltd
7. Financial Inclusion Leadership Award – Ms. Modupe Ladipo
8. Financially Inclusive Agent of the Year – Etranzact
9. National Inclusive Payment Initiative Award – TeamApt Ltd
10. Financial Services Infrastructure Innovation Award – Remita Payment Service Ltd
The Deputy Governor of the CBN, Mrs Aishah Ahmad, CFA was also presented with a Special Award for Promoting Country Partnerships by the Central Bank of Egypt in recognition of leadership provided in the Central Bank of Nigeria – Central Bank of Egypt Fintech Bridge which was launched earlier in the day.
The two day conference ends on Friday, 25th November dedicated to technical sessions on Gender Inclusive Finance and Women’s Financial Inclusion, leveraging gender data for evidence -based policy, digital infrastructure, consumer protection, deepening Digital Financial Services adoption and winning strategies for reaching the youth and rural areas.