We are confident about achieving 80% financial inclusion target – CBN
Including 80 percent of Nigeria’s adult population into the formal financial cycle by 2020 is still achievable,
Our expectation is to meet the 80 percent financial inclusion target. That is what we are working towards, Aishah Ahmad, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said: About seven years ago the Central of Nigeria in collaboration with industry stakeholders established the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), an initiative the apex bank planned to leverage on to achieve 20 percent financial exclusion target by 2020.
“We have confidence that we are going to meet the 80 percent target,” Ahmad said adding that the apex bank is sure about achieving the target “because of the many regulations the CBN has brought out to attract new players into the industry.”
But the CBN had in a circular on July 2018, lamented that Nigeria was not meeting any of the financial inclusion targets agreed and contained in the 2012 Financial Inclusion Strategy.
Not only was the country not meeting its targets, but it was also declining in growth. For instance, while Nigeria achieved 60.3 percent in 2012, it declined to 58.4 percent in 2016 against a target of 69.5 percent translating to financial exclusion of about 41.6 percent.
The 2018 data by EFINA put Nigeria’s financial inclusion rate at 63.2percent, meaning that as much 36.8 percent or about 40 million adults still lack access.
If the apex bank is to achieve its objective through the strategy launched in 2012, it would have to bridge the 16.8 percent inclusion gap before year-end.
Even though Nigeria’s 2018 inclusion data revealed that more people were beginning to have access to financial services, the pace of inclusion was however lower than the country’s population growth rate, a survey by industry players shows.
“What we saw between the 2016 and 2018 data was that more people were becoming financially included but not at the same pace as the population growth rate,” Dayo Odulate- Ademola, Head of innovation at EFINA .