• Thursday, May 23, 2024
businessday logo


Six out of Ten Nigerians have no access to finance – NDIC


The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) on Wednesday revealed that six out of 10 Nigerians have no access to finance.

This comes as the Corporation has harped on the need for financial as the only means of pulling Nigerians put of poverty.

The NDIC’s submission comes at a time when Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world, where some 94 million Nigerians live on less than $1.90 a day.

Latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the country’s unemployment rate at over 23percent.

Speaking when he led top management of agency to President of the Senate in Abuja, NDIC Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Umar Ibrahim, explained that creating the required financial accessibility for downtrodden Nigerians, more micro finanance and payment service banks will have to be licensed and established at the hinterlands across the country.

“The issue of financial inclusion is very critical globally. We have a lot of statistics that indicate clearly that about 60 percent of Nigerians do not have access to finance.

“People travel for hundreds of kilometers before they can reach a branch of commercial or microfinance bank. There are local government and communities that do not have a branch, they do not have ATMs, 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 milage in this area by way of establishing more microfinance banks, licensing mobile banks, creation of agents banks”, he said.

He added that access to financial inclusion speaks not only to people walking into a bank or using their phones to make transactions but also allowing citizens to access information, get help, get small loans in a very responsive and responsible manner so that they can have sustainable livelihood and thriving business.

He, however, urged the Ninth National Assembly to revisit the request of the Corporation for repeal and reenactment of its Act which did not scale through during the Eighth Assembly.

Ibrahim assured that the Corporation is putting on ground stringent measures against financial and cyber frauds.

His words: “We are working very hard on Issues pertaining to fraud and forgery in the baking space. We are are interfacing with the office of the NBA and all other stakeholders to minimize incidences of cyber crime in our banking system.

“The banks are being encouraged to ensure that they have full proof cyber security system so as to minimize the incidences of hacking which results in serious loses to the banking system and loss of earnings and loss of confidence.

“Part of the emerging trends globally in the banking space is the emergence of block chains technology and crypto currency. Crypto currency is one example of block chain technology. These are new innovations that can be effectively used in checkmating fraud”.

In his remarks, Lawan tasked the NDIC and the banking sector generally to provide the required financial facilities for Nigerians interested in agriculture in line with the diversification policy of the present government.

He said: “In the Nigerian economy you have a role to play in that economy and for us we would want to achieve an economy where Nigerian is at advantage and Nigeria get equal doses of opportunity.

“Those at the very lowest of ladder of society, those that are particularly advantaged given opportunities that ordinarily will not be available, this administration will want to emphasis and particularly, the banks hardly provide facilities for agricultural products but do to other projects, that is a big problem, on one hand as a government we want to diversify, we want to encourage agriculture but on the other hand , banks are not doing the needful for those who want to invest in the sector.

“The facilities are not easily met and where they are available the interest rates are out of the roof. This is enough to discourage our people and the trend must please be changed”.