36.8% of Adult Nigerians Are Financially Excluded - EFINA 2018 Survey


Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7.00PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong, Proshare WebTV


The 2018 EFINA Access to Financial Services survey findings, released today in Lagos revealed that 36.8%  of the adult population in the country, are financially excluded. 

At an event attended by stakeholders in the financial services industry, regulators and other key players in the economy, the survey also showed that Nigeria has a chance to achieve the 20% exclusion rate target for adults by 2020. 

This translates to a population of 36.6 million adult Nigerians who are excluded at the moment, with 44.1% male and 55.9% female. 

It also disclosed that the country had a total adult population of 99.6 million, with 39.8% as the banked population which translates to 39.7 million.

The unbanked population is now 60.1 million with 71.3%  of mobile phone users, that are adult among the excluded. 

From the analysis 63.3% of the population are financially served with 38.7% in the banked category(39.5 million). 

It also showed that about 3 million Nigerians have financial services provided by  Micro-finance banks.

The 2018 Access to Financial Services survey had the following takeaways;

  •  Formal labour market is not absorbing enough Nigerians
  • Reduction in formal employment lead to reduced disposable income leading to reduced savings.
  • Adults resort to starting small businesses (driven by the agric sector) to survive
  • Day to Day expenses is the most important financial need while planning for unexpected shocks and planning for long term goals are second and third priorities respectively.
  • Banked population went up by 1.4% which was driven by transaction products
  • A number of adults relying on informal mechanism only increase significantly-as more adults move into formal employment.
  • Payments are mostly cash based , driven by the size of the informal sector.
  • Digital payments increased from 12% in 2016 to 16% in 2018, the usage is driven by the deepening of financial inclusion. Mobile Money usage is driven by the banked population.
  • Main barriers to financial inclusion remain lack of products/services awareness and knowledge, institutional exclusion and affordability. 


The survey highlighted the following as recommendations for financial inclusion in Nigeria;

  • Continued measure of financial inclusion and usage aligned with the revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy
  • Increase financial intermediation for small businesses where majority of adults are employed, where they earn money.
  • Target those adults using informal only-introducing mobile money and agent services to 14.5 million adults that rely exclusively on informal mechanism.
  • Application of segmentation methods to better target key identified groups (women, youth, adults residing in rural areas and adults residing in the North West and North East regions)
  • Data integration across surveys, supply side data and regulatory data to improve quality of analytics and market intelligence.

A major trend of the survey was the fact that Nigeria recorded a 4.8% increase in the financially inclusion from the 2016 survey. 

Chairman of the Board of EFINA Nigeria Mr Segun Akerele said the survey revealed the resilience of ordinary Nigerians, despite a challenged economy. 

The new CEO of EFINA Mr Esaie Diei assured stakeholders that the financial sector development organization, will work assiduously to drive the advocacy on financial inclusion in the country. 

Mr Oluseyi Oladejo of  IPSOS  in his presentation shared that significant investments were made in technology, to enhance the data collection process, sample review mechanism and quality control to achieve a robust 2018 survey. 

Representing the National Bureau of Statistics Mr Yemi Adeniran said Based on the sample design for the 2018 EFINA survey, there is high confidence and reliability on the results from the report”. 

On her part the former Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Sarah Alade in her keynote asserted that the survey will help stakeholders to come up with pragmatic solutions that will address the issues in financial inclusion. 

Also speaking the Director-General of  Nigeria Insurers Association Mrs Yetunde Ilori was of the view that the results of the survey will help the insurance industry, in the following areas;

  • Customer acquisition
  • Customer retention
  • Risk Management


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