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High mobile phone ownership present opportunity to reverse Kaduna’s financial exclusion – EFInA

COVID-19 drives surge in mobile connectivity in Africa

The EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2020 Kaduna State Deep Dive Survey indicates significant market opportunity to drive financial inclusion in Kaduna State, including among excluded groups such as women, rural adults, micro-entrepreneurs and farmers.

High ownership of mobile phones and interest in digital financial services present favourable conditions for reversing the financial exclusion of over half of adults in Kaduna State. Kaduna, according to EFInA.

The EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2020 – Kaduna State Deep Dive Survey shows that 38 percent of adults in Kaduna State are using formal (regulated) financial services, such as banks, microfinance banks, mobile money, insurance, capital market or pension accounts.

The majority of those adults are using bank services; 33percent of adults in Kaduna State are banked. While Kaduna State has the highest rate of financial inclusion in the Northwest, 62percent of adults in Kaduna State still do not use any regulated financial services.

Financially excluded adults in Kaduna State are more likely to reside in rural areas, have lower levels of education, be microentrepreneurs or farmers, and have limited access to bank branches or other financial access points. Women continue to be more financially excluded than men, with only 30 percent of women in Kaduna State using formal (regulated) financial services, compared with 46percent of men.

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Restrictive gender norms contribute to this gap in access; for example, only 21 percent of women in Kaduna State have the final say on whether they can work to earn income, compared with 87 percent of men.

For the first time, the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2020 Survey measured the financial health of Nigerian adults. Only one-quarter of adults in Kaduna State are considered financially healthy, meaning they can plan, save, manage their day-to-day spending, and are resilient towards financial shocks. Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai said that Kaduna State views financial inclusion as a contributor to economic growth and is taking policy steps to expand it.

“The Kaduna State Government has developed a roadmap and blueprint for the adoption of state-wide digital payment infrastructure, with the support of the Gates Foundation. Kaduna State is also partnering with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to improve financial access points in all the 23 Local Government Areas of the State.”

Malam El-Rufai also explained that “KDSG appreciates the strong impact that accesses to telecommunications services has on financial inclusion, Therefore, KDSG is working in partnership with IHS Towers to improve and provide mobile network (voice and data) in 42 blind spots across the state. Aside from digitising payments, Kaduna State is digitising identity, capturing the biometric details of over the 3.5m residents in the database of the Kaduna State Residents Registration Agency (KADRRA).

The goal is for KADRRA to reach 9m residents, about 90 percent enrollment of residents, by December 2022.”

Jeremie Zoungrana, Nigeria Country Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, looks forward to continued partnership with Kaduna State and said that “ the presentation of findings from the survey on access and use of financial services in Kaduna State will provide important baselines for measuring progress. It will also highlight the scale of the challenge that lies ahead. This is a challenge worth tackling which when surmounted delivers compounding benefits.”

The EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2020 – Kaduna State Deep Dive Survey highlights the significant market opportunity for financial service providers to address the financial needs of adults in Kaduna. For example, only 1percent of adults in Kaduna State are insured, but 0.7 million uninsured adults say they would be interested in microinsurance.

While only 33 percent of adults in Kaduna State are banked, 2 million unbanked adults in the state own mobile phones and could be reached with mobile money.

Ashley Immanuel, CEO of EFInA, said, “This Kaduna State Deep Dive Survey is the first time that EFInA has conducted such detailed financial inclusion research at the state level.”

According to her, “the data shows that, while there is work to do to improve financial inclusion and financial health of adults in Kaduna State, there is also tremendous opportunity to do so by expanding the reach of relevant, affordable digital financial services and agent networks. We are pleased to provide this data as a resource for stakeholders such as government, financial service providers, development partners and others to develop targeted strategies to drive inclusion in Kaduna State.”