Thursday, November 14, 2019 /
9:40 AM / Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
The prospect for Nigeria attaining 80% Adult financial inclusion by 2020 came to the fore at the recent 2019 Fintech Week hosted in Lagos.
The Managing Director of Accion Microfinance Bank, Mr. Taiwo Joda, and the CEO of Shared Network Expansion Facility, SANEF, Mrs Ronke Kuye, were panelists at the discourse and gave their perspective on the issues as it concerns deepening financial inclusion in the country.
Mrs. Ronke Kuye, in her opening remarks, gave updates on what SANEF has been doing to drive the financial inclusion process in the country.
She highlighted the introduction of agency banking and the close work with Fintechs as part of the ways to increase the reach to the unbanked population, beyond the traditional branch network of banks.
Mr. Joda in his remarks emphasized the need for collaboration between banks, financial institutions and Fintechs.
He stressed the need for Nigeria to go fully digital from 2020 if it is to achieve the 80% adult financial inclusion target.
The Accion Mfb MD said Fintechs provide a low barrier to service, and if the ecosystem is robust with enabling regulations, Nigeria could reach the 20% reduction in the exclusion rate.
Supporting the point made by the Accion Mfb MD, the CEO of SANEF, Mrs. Kuye, said that through collaboration between Fintechs and banks, financial services have deepened and extended to rural areas, with increased coverage level.
Speaking further, she said the collaboration has helped to improve financial literacy in the country and provide access to credit facilities and financial services to unbanked Nigerians.
Joda added that for the unbanked population in Nigeria, the following issues were critical;
Giving further insight, Joda said Fintech Startups have been able to develop accounting platforms for some Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, to manage their finances and become bankable.
He also emphasized the importance of data, citing how Accion Microfinance bank has leveraged on the data from Enhancing Financial Innovation Access, EFINA, to reposition its branch operations.
According to him, a major area that the microfinance bank identified as a challenge to address was the low penetration in terms of financial inclusion in the north.
He also believed the adoption of innovative steps like the deployment of crowdsourcing and the use of advanced analytical tools had enabled financial services institutions to develop metrics to understand customer behaviour.
Joda told stakeholders at the event that data would be critical to Nigeria, achieving 80% adult financial inclusion.
For Kuye, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) established SANEF to deepen financial inclusion in the country.
She believed that favourable regulations and effective collaboration amongst all stakeholders from banks to Fintech companies would put Nigeria on the right footing to reach a wider population.
Nigeria's current adult financial inclusion rate is 63.2%, with an additional 16.8% needed to achieve its 2020 target.