NIGERIA:CBN Targets 40% Credit Penetration

Bamidele Ogunwusi

Though credit penetration in Nigeria is currently at 3 per cent, according to recent surveys by EFInA, but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it is targeting 40 per cent in a not too distant future.

Dr. Mudashiru Olaitan, CBN’s Director of Development Finance Department, disclosed this in a paper ‘Innovative Strategies and Technologies Driving Access to Finance in West Africa’s Financial Sector’ and made available to DAILY INDEPENDENT that as part of the financial inclusion strategy of the CBN, the bank is doing everything to ensure that the target of 40 per cent is attained.

“We hope to improve that number to 40 per cent. This initiative will help towards that objective. The second initiative is Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility, as Nigeria seeks to roll out 500,000 agents across the 774 local governments in the country by 2020, capture 40 million Bank Verification Number (BVN) and rapidly drive Financial Literacy amongst the unbanked”.

He added that as the emerging technologies and programmes in the region that are increasing access to finance are necessary, the CBN in its bid to increase access to finance has embarked on a number of initiatives such as Establishment of National Collateral Registry for movable assets particularly for MSMEs and reduce the risks associated with lending to the sector.

“With the NCR Nigeria’s “getting credit ranking has improved from 32nd to 6th Position and the country is adjudged one of the 10 most improved economies”, he added.

The third initiative, he said, is the establishment of a National Microfinance Bank that leverages Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) outlets in rural communities to deepen access to finance.