As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s 2020 financial inclusion target intensifies, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has identified data-driven technological innovation and sustainable relationship between stakeholders as the bedrock to a financially inclusive country.
EFInA is a financial sector development organization that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria
EFInA said although Nigeria is making positive strides towards meeting the target, there’s a need to create and maintain a good working relationship the framework between the operators and regulators towards building an inclusive economy.
The Programme Specialist at EFInA, Henry Chukwu, made this assertion while speaking at a quarterly Digital Financial Services Master Class organised by the leading fintech firm Social Lender in Lagos recently.
He told Fintech Africa that if these measures are properly executed, the target set by the CBN would be met and would serve as a bedrock for economic sustainability.
According to EFInA, Nigeria has 36.8 per cent of its adult population excluded from the financial cycle and this translates to a population of 36.6 million people who at the moment not included in the financial net.
With this, the apex bank is left with an inclusion gap of 16.8 per cent expected to be bridged at the end of 2020 to enable the CBN to achieve the 20 per cent exclusion rate.
Chukwu said continuous market sensitization would build a long-lasting trust between operators
and end-users which according to him is central to bridging the financial gap.
‘’The apex bank can achieve the target with sustained modalities and initiative target can be met by the end of the year.
He lauded the CBN for its effort in achieving the target but advised the regulatory body to sustain its effort by offering flexible initiative and data-driven policies that will bring both the underbanked and the underserved into the financial ecosystem.
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He said the apex bank’s financial inclusion strategy can be achieved if the regulatory body continues its robust synergy with operators in rolling out the innovative initiative.
‘’Generally, we are making progress and we hope that by December 2020 Nigeria will meet the 80 per cent target. But there’s still a lot to be done in terms of collaboration between the CBN and financial service providers to be able to reach more people. Collective effort and partnership among the stakeholders is very important.
“There’s a need to also deploy more initiatives and carry out sensitization in order to deal with the issue of trust. Collaboration is important to push even beyond the financial inclusion.’’