Post Views: 344 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at the weekend said the 2018 Access to Financial Services (A2F) survey conducted by the Enhancing F...
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at the weekend said the 2018 Access to Financial Services (A2F) survey conducted by the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), showed that financial inclusion rate dropped from 41.6% in 2016 to 36.8%.
This was however despite the rise in Nigeria’s banked population, which increased steadily to 39.7%, from 21.1%, even while 95.9% of the 27,000 survey respondents said they unaware of mobile money services.
A breakdown of the figure, published by the CBN in the Financ showed that gender gap continued to increase with 55.9% women were financial excluded, compared to 44.1% men, just as rural areas expectedly had a higher financial exclusion rate of 78.5%, as against 21.5% in urban areas.
A total 89.4% of them also said they are not aware of the presence of banking agents in their communities, even as mobile money usage was predominant amongst already financially included populations, just as cash transaction was common among subsistence farmers and business owners in rural areas.
Continuing, the report said the three regions of northern Nigeria remained the most financially excluded, while the “South West exceeded the national target with an exclusion rate of 19% and the South-South, South East and North Central recording exclusion rates of 23%, 29% and 31% respectively, indicating positive prospects towards the 20% exclusion rate in 2020.”
The revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy provides for keen focus on regulatory and policy environment, agent networks, Digital Financial Services, Identity/KYC, community lending: Micro Finance Institution (MFI) & Micro Finance Bank (MFB0 Model, Financial Service Provider (FSP) investment in tailored savings and credit products, People to Government (P2G) and Government to People (G2P) and digital payments ecosystems and Financial/digital Literacy.
This renewed focus coupled with stakeholder commitment, the CBN assured, “is expected to drive improvements in access to finance in the country to 80% by
The apex bank identified the uneven spread of financial access points particularly
in rural areas, as a key challenge to financial inclusion in Nigeria, limiting access to appropriate products and services.
“The advent of Digital Financial Services as a means of reaching customers at lower cost to the financial services providers has provided a solution to this challenge.
It is in recognition of this and in a bid to support innovation in deepening the financial services sector, the CBN said, it released an exposure draft on the Guidelines for licensing and regulation of Payment Service Banks, which stipulated that provisionally, telecommunications companies and other private sector participants can take advantage of the guidelines to obtain the licenses, reach out to excluded populations and enhance Financial Inclusion in Nigeria.