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EFInA Survey Shows 58.4% Nigerian Adults Now Financially Served



(L-r): Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, chairman Senate Committee on Banking & Financial Institutions; Ms. Modupe Ladipo, chair, EFInA’s Board; Dr. Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, Senior Economic Advisor, Open Society Foundations (OSF); Her Majesty Queen Maxima, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Financial Inclusion for Development, of the Netherlands and Lamido Sanusi Lamido, Emir of Kano, at the EFInA Financial Inclusion Workshop in Abuja.

By peter oluka

In a bid to reduce poverty and achieve inclusive economic growth in Nigeria, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), a financial sector development organization hosted a workshop with stakeholders such as the Federal Government, United Nations (UN), Heads of Federal Financial Inclusion Initiatives, Academics, Financial Institutions and Financial Services Regulators in Nigeria to advocate for the implementation of policies to drive financial inclusion in Nigeria.

The theme of the workshop was ‘’The Role of Government in Driving Financial Inclusion in Nigeria’’.

Ms. Modupe Ladipo, the chair of EFInA’s Board, shared key barriers responsible for increasing the financially excluded population in Nigeria.

She indicated that “generally, income levels in Nigeria are very low. 19.6% of Nigerians mainly get their source of income from non-farming business while 19.1% get theirs from family business (subsistence or commercial farming).

Only 4.2% of the adult population get their source of income from the formal sector. In addition, she commented that EFInA observed that the North has a high level of financial exclusion. This is as a result of massive job losses, limited resources and no basic necessities of opening a bank account.

Out of 96.4 million adults in Nigeria, 56.3 million (58.4% of the adult population) are now financially served.

40.1 million Nigerian adults (41.6% of the adult population) are financially excluded (without any form of access to financial services). The National Financial Inclusion Strategy target is to lower this figure to 20.0% of the adult population by 2020’’.

She highlighted the issue of inaccurate data in assessing economic growth in Nigeria. ‘‘There are lots of issues in terms of validation and credibility. According to National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), only 6% of Nigerians are duly registered as at 2016. Only 24% of the population has a Bank Verification Number (BVN). We really need to devise how to get a unique form of identification so that we can start to address some of these issues.

She emphasized that the number of microfinance adult users declined from 2.6 million in 2014 to 1.8 million in 2016.

There is a general problem around trust as the licenses of some microfinance banks have been revoked. With a lot of bank charges, account owners are left with little money in their bank account.

Similarly, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Her Majesty, Queen Maxima of Netherlands, gave a keynote address on the ‘Transformative Power of Financial Inclusion’.

She stated that adopting inclusive strategy is a powerful tool to expanding opportunities for all Nigerians.

She highlighted the current progress made in the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, and emphasised to stakeholders the need for high-level political leadership and the participation of the private sector in achieving the targets. Queen Maxima went on to stress that allowing mobile operators to provide mobile money accounts can be a game changer for financial inclusion in Nigeria, and that stakeholders prioritise the development of inclusive retail e-payments system that serves as a basis to distribute other financial services such as savings, payment, credit and insurance services.

She stated that the process of revising Nigeria’s financial strategy indicates huge opportunities to leverage technology. ‘‘Utilizing technology and expanding mobile money is one of the most promising tools to addressing this gap.  It allows user to access their accounts remotely through their mobile devices.

Currently Nigeria has 58.2 million unique mobile phone users, the contrast to 27 million using mobile banking.

This underscores the immense potential which mobile banking shows for advancing financial inclusion.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, shared insights on “The Role of Government in Ensuring Financial Institutions Address the Needs of Masses”.

Senator Ibrahim highlighted Federal Government initiatives aimed at promoting economic stability and deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria. He stated that the Government would support mobile banking efforts, and lay the framework to permit mobile network operators to deepen its penetration.

The Governor of Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emiefiele (CON), in his address delivered by Director, Development Financing, CBN, Mr. Mudashiru Olaitan, explained that initiatives like the Bank Verification Number scheme and others have addressed issues connected to identification in the banking system. ‘‘As we progress in our financial inclusion effort, the need to develop the competences of relevant institutions must be pursued.

Some of the issues we need to address include low infrastructure in rural areas, low income, low saving culture, high unemployment and cultural & religious barriers.

Government has a critical role to play in order to promote inclusive financial execution. Government needs to provide an enabling environment to support the entire value chain within the financial sector to achieve its objectives.

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Keystone Bank, NIPOST Partner to Launch Agency Banking



Keystone Bank Limited has launched “KeyServ”(An Agency Banking proposition) to serve customers outside its conventional brick & mortar mode of banking.


The initiative, which is in partnership with Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) and i-OneC (A FinTech Firm), is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Financial System Strategy (FSS2020) goals to increase financial inclusion uptake in Nigeria.


Mr. Obeahon Ohiwerei, group managing director/ chief executive officer, Keystone Bank Limited, said: “Enabling Financial Inclusion is our core area of focus and we have partnered with other industry players to deploy Digital Financial Solutions/ Platforms for improved access to finance; leveraging data to improve the product offerings, personalised & predictive customer service, and uncovering new customer segments”.


“The recent reports on adult Nigerians (according to EFInA) that are financially excluded is 40.1million (41.6% of 96.4million adults). To this end, we are partnering with NIPOST and i-OneC to offer financial inclusion services to un(der)banked Nigerians especially in the rural and less urban areas.

“Under this partnership, KeyServ (Keystone Agency Banking Services) offers services such as Account Opening, Bills Payment, Cash-In, Cash-Out, ATM Services, Fund Transfers, Balance Enquiries, ATM cash withdrawals, Mini Statements and a whole lot more.


“One landmark feature of KeyServ (Keystone Agency Banking Services) is that it offers affordable access to financial services than the traditional banking methods.”


Also, speaking at the launch, Yemi Odusanya, ED Corporate Banking & South, Keystone Bank, added : “With this scheme, customers, especially in the rural areas will enjoy unfettered access to banking services. As at today, we have about 106 approved agents across the country and already, the services are available at Sabongida-Ora (Evbiobe)-Edo State, Sabon Gari (Kano), Mirinjibi (Kaduna), Barnawa (Kaduna), Yaba (Lagos) and Ikoyi (Lagos)”

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Standard Chartered Launch African online Bank



Standard Chartered launched its first African online-only bank in Cote d’Ivoire yesterday, joining a wave of lenders seeking to use new technologies to reach customers in some of the world’s most under-served markets.

Long considered a backwater, Africa has emerged as the world’s No. 2 banking market in terms of both growth and profitability.

Yet there are just five branches per 100,000 adults, by far the lowest rate in the world.

To compete for customers, banks are increasingly taking advantage of Africa’s deepening mobile phone coverage.

Clients of Standard Chartered’s Ivorian bank will be able to open an account in less than 15 minutes and then use an app on their mobile devices to carry out all their banking activities.

“We have been steadily investing in expanding our footprint in Africa over the years, and this will continue to be a priority moving forward,” said Sunil Kaushal, Standard Chartered’s Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East.

“Digitising Africa remains at the heart of our business strategy for the region,” he said, adding that the British bank planned to roll out the model pioneered in Cote d’Ivoire in other African markets in the coming months.

Standard Chartered joins competitors including Lloyds , Kenyan lender CBA’s M-Shwari and Togo-based Ecobank that are focusing their growth strategies around digital banking.

The number of Africans with bank accounts grew from 170 million in 2012 to nearly 300 million last year, according to a study published by management consulting firm McKinsey and Company last month.

That figure is expected to rise to 450 million in the next five years.

McKinsey’s survey found that nearly 40 per cent of all African banking customers preferred digital channels for transactions and more than half of the middle and affluent client segments did.

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AfDB to Partner Nigeria in Power Sector Recovery Program



The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it will support Nigeria’s Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) in three areas.

It listed the areas as operational and technical intervention, governance issues and policy based support.

The bank disclosed this in Abuja on Friday in a statement signed by Mrs Fatimah Alkali, Senior Communications Officer in Nigeria Country Office.

AfDB said it had undertaken a mission to hold further discussions on Nigeria’s PSRP with several stakeholders.

The bank said that the mission was led by Mr Amadou Hott, the Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.

It said meetings had been held with relevant ministries, departments and agencies to harmonise plans and areas of intervention.

The ministries and agencies include the Ministries of Finance, Power, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, World Bank and solar power developers.

The Bank said the programme was designed to promote energy access to rural communities through the expansion of the transmission grid, development of innovative financing products and provision of technical assistance to improve revenue generation by the distribution companies.

It said the goal of the mission was to identify opportunities for collaboration in the programme.

“The bank’s energy strategy identifies energy as crucial not only for the attainment of health and education outcomes, but for industrialisation, reducing the cost of doing business and for unlocking economic potential and creating jobs.

“In line with its high 5 development priorities, the Bank is committed to supporting Nigeria in the effective and efficient implementation of the country’s Power Sector Recovery Program,” the bank said.

The statement quoted the Bank’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, as saying that “Africa is simply tired of being in the dark.

“It is time to take decisive action and turn around this narrative: to light up and power Africa and accelerate the pace of economic transformation, unlock the potential of businesses and drive much needed industrialisation to create jobs” he said.

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