• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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More Nigerians use digital financial services in 12 months

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Over 45 percent of Nigerians used Digital Financial Services in the past 12 months, up from 34 percent in 2020, new data shows.

Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), in a recent survey on Access to Financial (A2F) services in Nigeria, the use of financial services, including transaction accounts, savings, remittances, credit, and insurance, is on the rise.

“Savings increased by 2 percent, remittances by 8 percent, and credit by 4 percent, indicating an increased deepening of inclusion,” it said.

However, only 34 million formally served Nigerians feel that information on financial products or services is consistently provided in a clear and easily understandable manner.

According to Oluwatomi Eromoaele, managing director at EFinA, the survey was carried out across all 36 states. In Kaduna state, she said, “We went a bit deeper in regards to access to finance even at the local government level, we spoke to 6,900 respondents between August and October.”

“The A2F survey is Nigeria’s primary source of financial inclusion data and is designed to assess access to and use of financial services for the adult Nigerian population. The methodology for the 2023 survey has been updated to reflect changing population dynamics, and 2018 and 2020 data were also updated using the same methodology to enable comparison.”

“Formal financial inclusion has grown significantly from 56 percent in 2020 to 64 percent in 2023, fueled by marginal growth in the banked population and major gains in non-bank formal adoption, “ she said.

Jason Lamb, head of Bill & Melinda Gates said “Our findings from the report show that Nigeria is improving in the aspect of financial inclusion Looking at what it was in 2010 and what it is now.

“Most of this increase comes from non-bank financial institutions, this is a result of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulations that opened up the financial institutions,” he said.

Financial inclusion rose to 74 percent in 2023 from 68 percent in 2020, while 26 percent of Nigerians are financially excluded, according to the 2023 EFInA survey.

“Despite the growth in access, certain demographic gaps continue to persist in Nigeria. For instance, gender gap: growth in women’s financial inclusion from 60 percent in 2020 to 70 percent in 2023 despite an increase in the gender gap from 8 percent recorded in 2020 to 9 percent in 2023. Urban-rural gap: decrease in the gap from 24 percent recorded in 2020 to 20 percent in 2023. Youth (18-35): 71 percent financial inclusion was recorded in 2023. Northern Nigeria: despite growing access, including significant gains in the North-East and North-West, all states in the North-East report exclusion levels above the national average,” the report said.