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Nigeria to focus on women, youth, others to achieve financial inclusion target

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Nigeria is determined to achieve the financial inclusion target of 80 percent by 2020 with a strong focus on including five excluded groups – women, youth and people in rural areas.
Women, the youth (under 35 years), rural residents and those in Northern Nigeria (North East and North West) are the most financially excluded, according to a survey by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFinA).
The working group and the technical group of the inclusion strategy are also working to increase the agent network to bring financial services to the people.

To further enhance financial system stability, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) says it has embarked on various public awareness campaign explaining the role and responsibilities of the customers to their banks, and vice versa.
“NDIC in collaboration with all relevant key players in the nation’s financial system will continue to work on several initiatives to accelerate financial literacy and financial inclusion, especially among rural communities nationwide so as to promote inclusive growth in Nigeria,” Umar Ibrahim, managing director/CEO, NDIC, said.

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Represented by Mohammed Yayangida Umar at the ongoing workshop for business editors and Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, he said the NDIC would continue to work closely with CBN to ensure effective supervision of the banks so as to ensure strict adherence to rules and regulations guiding banking operations.
Speaking on ‘Financial Inclusion in Nigeria: The Journey So Far,’ Temitope Akin-Fadeyi, head, financial inclusion secretariat, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), mentioned some of the challenges to financial inclusion to include security, problem of economy and low literacy level among others.

Represented Joseph Ata, member of the financial inclusion department of the CBN, she said with the measures put in place, “we are going to get to 80 percent financial inclusion”.
The panellists at the panel session agree that the secret of the initiatives resides in the level of penetration and the best way to go about it is through technology.
Nigeria launched its own National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in October 2012. The overarching objective of the strategy is to reduce the number of Nigerian adults without access to formal financial services to 20 percent by 2020 from the baseline figure of 46.3 percent in 2010.

Notwithstanding global progress, account ownership in Nigeria has plummeted by 4 percentage points to 40 percent in 2017 compared to 44 percent in the 2014 report. This trend is in tandem with the EFInA 2016 survey report on Access to finance, which shows that no interim target was achieved in 2016.
One of the major highlights of Financial Inclusion in 2017 is the reduction in the number of unbanked by 515 million globally according to data released by the World Bank. The World Bank Global Findex 2017 report showed that the total number of globally excluded has reduced from 2 billion based on the 2014 Global Findex data to 1.7 billion based on the 2017 data.