New Ireland becomes the third province in Papua New Guinea to sign a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) today to advance financial inclusion activities in the province.
The Bank of Papua New Guinea Governor and Chairman of CEFI, Loi M. Bakani and New Ireland Province Governor Sir Julius Chan signed the MoU to promote the integration of financial inclusion in the New Ireland Province administration planning and implementation processes and also build the capacity of New Ireland Provincial administration staff to implement important financial inclusion activities.
The activities will include integrating the PNG financial inclusion strategy in provincial government planning process to expand banking and financial services network, increase formal banking accounts for people, financial literacy and business development training and digitizing provincial government payments.
CEFI as the custodian of the PNG Financial Inclusion Strategy and implementor of the Government’s Financial Inclusion Policy will be working closely with the New Ireland Provincial administration staff to train and build their capacity and knowledge to roll out financial literacy and business development services training to reach a wider population in the province targeting mainly youths and women.
The Bank of Papua New Guinea Governor Loi M. Bakani noted the significance of improving financial capability of communities in New Ireland “The province hosts two of the country’s largest Mines and Oil Palm Plantations including timber and tourism. Together, these industries contribute over PGK 100 million to the national purse”.
“By improving access to banks, micro banks, banking agents, ATMs, formal banking products and financial literacy training these will enable people to understand skills and attitudes especially behaviors in order to make sound financial decisions suited to improve their standard of living”, says Governor Loi Bakani.
New Ireland Provincial Governor Sir Julius Chan says the signing demonstrates a new phase in development for the province to improve the savings culture of the people who have access to cash from mining royalties, oil palm, cocoa, copra, timber and fishery products.
“Financial Inclusion is increasingly becoming a new development agenda for provincial governments, and we are proud to take the lead in this journey to push for greater financial inclusion of our people in the local and ward levels. We can certainly learn from Singapore, how it has become the financial hub by encouraging savings and setting Housing policies to entice people to save,” said New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan.
The MoU is an outcome of the provincial rollout project under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2016-2020 to reach provincial, local level and wards to promote and ensure quality financial services are delivered by a range of providers at affordable cost in a convenient manner, and is user-friendly for the users.