The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and also the chairman, National Financial Inclusion Steering Committee. Mr. Godwin Emefiele has extended the financial inclusion target year from 2020 to 2024 and has also mandated stakeholders to achieve 95% inclusion by 2024.
Nigeria will attain 95% Financial Inclusion by 2024—Godwin Emefiele
This was contained in the Financial Inclusion Newsletter, 2nd quarter publication, volume 4 issue 2. The newsletter is published quarterly from the Financial Inclusion Secretariat.
In 2012, the Apex bank in collaboration with major stakeholders launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy with the aim of reducing financial exclusion rate from 43.3% in 2010 to 20% by 2020.
Specifically, adult Nigerians with access to payment services is to increase from 21.6% in 2010 to 70% in 2020, while those with access to savings should increase from 24.0% to 60%; and Credit from 2% to 40%, Insurance from 1% to 40% and Pensions from 5% to 40%, within the same period.
The major tools that was identified for driving the Initiatives are: Tiered Know Your Customer(KYC); Agent Banking/ Agency Banking; Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund; Financial Literacy; Mobile Money Operation; Consumer Protection and Credit Enhancement Program.
Earlier in the year, while reviewing the progress made thus far on the target 20% financial exclusion by year 2020. The CBN governor through the Deputy Governor Financial Sector Surveillance, Mrs. Aishah Ahmed mentioned that about 36.8 percent of eligible Nigerian adults currently do not have access to financial services, adding that the figure indicated a significant improvement over the 41.6 percent exclusion rate recorded in 2016. He also acknowledged that there is still considerable work to be done to achieve the overall 20 per cent target exclusion rate by 2020.
It is however not surprising to industry watchers that a new date is set for the achievement of the reduced target of 95% as the 80% inclusiveness by 2020 look elusive.
“The new target according to the Governor, calls for institutions to re-strategize and refocus initiatives, policies and schemes that will accelerate the pace of delivery of their respective financial inclusion efforts.
“The revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS 2.0) places implementation focus on women, rural areas, youth, Northern Nigeria and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)”
Product Development; Financial Education/Consumer Protection; Leverage Digital Platform and Proliferation of Agent Network are to be pursued to achieve the new target.