By Ameachi Agbo
As part of activities to mark this year’s World Investors Week, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), took its awareness campaign on financial inclusion investment to Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory.
The programme which was organised in collaboration with other financial agencies in the country was geared towards empowering the rural market men and women on the need to invest their money instead of saving it under the bed or through other none interest-yielding means.
In her welcome speech, the Acting Director-General of the Commission, Mary Uduk, called on the participants to make ample use of the progrmme to save for their future.
Mrs Uduk who was represented at the occasion by Head of Investor Education, Francis Okafor, said that the programme offered the traders the opportunity to spread their income in various ways that would yield benefits in the long run.
In an interview, Mr Okafor explained that the Financial Inclusion Sensitisation programme was aimed at empowering the petty traders on the need to save their money through interest-yielding mechanism so that they can reap the benefits when the time comes.
“This is part of our activities to mark this year’s World Investors’ Week. It is a week celebrated annually under the International Security and Exchange Commission. This programme is globally carried out all over the world once in a year.
“Few days ago we were in Kano and today we are in Gwaggwalada. It is a programme that orientates the people especially the local and petty traders on how to invest in the capital market. We are also creating awareness on the need for the local people to understand the importance of investing in the capital market and in the financial industry.
“Under financial inclusion we have partners and collaborators who we are working with such as PENCOM, CBN, NDIC and others. Financial inclusion is meant primarily for the excluded. We go down to the grassroots to look for the traders who are saving their money under the beds.
“We have been to Kano, Sokoto and Lagos and the programme has been very successful. This year we have empahsised on the commodity ecosystem and none interest finance. We are focusing on the North West and East that have less financial inclusion commodity ecosystem,” he said
On his part, a representative of the Pension Commission, PENCOM, Emeka Onuora encouraged the participants to use the opportunity created by Micro Pension Scheme in the commission to start saving for their retirement age.
According to him, “Micro pension scheme is part and parcel of the Contributory Pension Scheme; it is a coverage extension of the contributory pension scheme. All this while, the emphasis in pension has been on the working class individuals but we are now including people who are working on their own. We want to let them know that even though they are working for themselves, they will retire one day and this is the opportunity for them to start making savings for the period so that they will not find it difficult.”
Participants at the programme commended SEC for coming up with the awareness and expressed eagerness to key into it.