Wednesday, June 26, 2019 / 07:50PM /
Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
The Enhancing Financial Innovation and
Access Group, EFInA a financial sector development organization,
yesterday hosted its 2019 Agent Network Breakfast series in Lagos.
The CEO of EFInA, Mr. Esaie Diei in his opening
remarks informed stakeholders that about 20.5 million women are financially
excluded in Nigeria.
Diei said that to close the gender gap in financial
access in Nigeria, there is a need to encourage more participation of
women in Agent Banking.
According to EFInA’s CEO the objective of the Agent
Network Breakfast Series was to achieve the following;
- Evaluate the gender dynamics in Agent Banking
- Identify the issues hindering the participation of
women in Agency Banking
- Highlighting opportunities to close the Gender gap
- Share insight that will enable financial services
providers to design financial product in services with value for female Agent
- To share conversation and initiative that will drive
the development of widespread female agent Network across Nigeria especially in
- Identify challenges in the real in participation of
women in Agent Banking and ways to overcome these barriers.
Speaking further Diei outlined
the following as key expectations of the forum;
- Implementing winning strategies for female Agents in
- EFInA participants updating there status from time to
time in respect 0f engagement as part of an Agent Networking Strategy to
support women financial inclusion
Programme Specialist of EFInA, Mr Henry Chukwu, also
gave a presentation on “Assessing the Impact of Female Agents in Driving
Financial Inclusion in Nigeria”.
He informed stakeholders that the recent survey
carried out by EFInA revealed the following;
- 50 million Adult women in Nigeria, are between the
ages of 13-35.
- 14% of the 50million Adult women own mobile
- 57% of the women have formal education and 74% live in
rural areas across the country
- Only 1% of the women have insurance packages
- Only 24% of women owns MSMEs across sub-Sahara Africa.
- 100% of the women who are financially excluded receive
their primary income in cash.
- 92% of the women say the reason why they save
and keep their money at home, is because of proximity, confidence
and quick access to their funds.
The EFInA survey conducted in 2017 on Tradition
Agent services, interviewed 818 agents who were randomly selected from database of about of 29, 000. From the survey
only 22% were female.
It also revealed that majority of
the women who are excluded, don’t
use bank services because of factors like
cost, slow pace, distance, unemployment, and irregular income.
To close the gender gap and create more
opportunities for women in the agency banking space, financial industry players
should evolve solutions round proximity and affordability.
The Business case for driving female participation
in the agency banking, revolving some of these key issues;
Business Model in Female Agents
- Many study have shown that women prefer to show wise
interaction than men in financial terminology
- Female Agent enhance communication and comfort level
for women customers
- Female agent create reassuring environment for
transaction for both male and female customers as they are patient and more
willing to spend time to address queries from the customers.
- Studies have also shown that female agent help
customer to stick to a provider
- They are diligent, helpful and supportive and this
helps to build trust in an environment.
the way forward Chukwu highlighted the
following key issues that should be given top priority;
- The need to address
Institutional barriers affecting women participation in Agency Banking
- The need to design financial
products that are suitable for women
- The need to adopt a program
for Agent Banking Models that are adaptable for women
- Address the issue in
institutional challenges on lack of capital, and low quality training.
- Identify and provide reliable
information for female Agents
- Service Providers should think
of creating ways that are culturally appropriate to integrate women into their
networks, in order to grow customer service.
- Create awareness on locations
where women can access funds
Frama Godfrey a female agent from Kaduna State shared her experience at the
Agent Network Breakfast Meeting.
her experience, Godfrey said she started her business with N30,000, with her
major customers as women , who did more of cash withdrawals.
the challenge she faced in the area of network connectivity, stating that she
carried out 40-60 transactions daily, employs more of females, and
made a commission of N50-70,000 every month.
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