Despite the proliferation of commercial banks and financial technology companies that render financial services all around the country, Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Umar Ibrahim has said that over 60 percent of Nigerians lack access to finance.
The NDIC boss said that the only way to lift Nigerians out of poverty was through massive inclusion in financial accessibility.
Ibrahim spoke in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
The NDIC boss, who led top management team of the corporation on the visit, suggested the institutionalisation of the required financial accessibility for ordinary Nigerians and creation of more micro finance and payment service banks.
He also said that more financial institutions should be licensed and established at the hinterlands across the country for easy access to ordinary Nigerians.
Ibrahim said: “The issue of financial inclusion is very critical globally, we have a lot of statistics that indicate clearly that about 60% of Nigerians do not have access to finance.
“People travel for hundreds of kilometers before they can reach a branch of Commercial or micro finance Bank.
“There are local government and communities that do not have any branch of bank. They do not have ATM machines, they have nothing and you cannot achieve those without some kind of sustainable financial inclusion.
“We are working hard to ensure that the situation is changed in addressing the problem of poverty.
“In achieving this, Nigeria has signed ombudsman to eradicate or to eliminate the problem of access to finance.
“Measures have been taken to ensure that we gain more mileage in this area by way of establishing more micro finance banks, licensing mobile banks, creation of agent banks.”
He said that access to financial inclusion means not only walking into a bank or using his phone to make transactions but also allowing the citizen to be able to access information, get help, get small loans in a responsive and responsible manner so that he or she can be able to have a sustainable livelihood and thriving business.
The NDIC boss urged the Ninth National Assembly to revisit the request of the corporation for repeal and reenactment of its Act which failed to sail through during the Eight National Assembly.
He assured the corporation is putting up more stringent measures against financial and cyber frauds.
According to him: “We are working very hard on issues pertaining to fraud and forgery in the banks.