From Isaac Anumihe and Blaise Udunze, Ilorin
THE renewed campaign on financial inclusion in the country may have yielded positive results as the current rate of adoption has moved up by 6.8 per cent to 60.5 per cent, representing 56 miliion Nigerians.
This means that most adults are now into one form of financial services or another, with about 36.9 million others, representing 39.5 per cent being the current exclusion rate.
The Head of Financial Inclusion Secretariat of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Temitope Akin- Fadeyi, said the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, linked to payments system, savings, loans, insurance and pensions schemes, targeted the channels – Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), microfinance banks, Point of Sales (PoS) and mobile money agents – through which these were delivered to customers in banks’ branches.
Mrs Akin-Fadeyi, while delivering her paper entitled: “e-Banking and Financial Inclusion,” at the ongoing workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, (NDIC), however, noted that to sustain the current results, financial institutions must be even more creative.
She said the strategies, which the bank has adopted to achieve this include payment, savings, loans, insurance and pension. “The strategy also includes targets for channels through which these products and services will be delivered to consuners, bank branches, ATMs, microfinance bank branches, PoS and mobile money agents,” she said.
According to her, CBN has developed some guidelines and frameworks to provide an enabling environment to eliminate cumbersome account opening requirements for bottom of the barrel customers.
These include the developmental and implementation of regulatory framework for agent booking, development and implementation of a national financial literacy framework, implantation of a comprehensive consumer protection framework to safeguard the interest of clients and sustain confidence in the financial sector, continued pursuance of mobile payment system and other cashless policies to reduce cost of financial services and increase ease of transaction and credit enhancement schemes to improve access to finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES).
In this connection, Akin- Fadeyi, disclosed that an estimated $900 million would be saved by 2020 following the reduced leakage of funds, better access to financial services and lower transaction cost.
Source : SunOnline