NIGERIA:Challenges Inhibiting Financial Inclusion Drive

M-Pesa is an electronic wallet service that lets an account holder store, send and receive money on their mobile phone.

Speaking further, he said: “If the telcos are allowed some level of involvement the financial inclusion drive, more jobs will be created directly and indirectly. This will impact positively on the economy of the country. The Mobile Money scheme which is yet to fulfill the desired result needs to be revived.”

Industry analysts have raised some challenges such as lack of infrastructure, skilled personnel and financial literacy among others to be impediment to the growth and sustenance of the initiative.

Lack of financial literacy has been noted to a strong reason for the deployment of financial services in the country, especially in the rural areas.

Industry observers stressed that conscious efforts must be made to scale financial inclusion in the country, through financial literacy and priority given to the some educational and economic disadvantaged areas in the country so as to retain the spots with the highest number of financially excluded people in Nigeria.

Campaigns are expected must be carried out in local languages across the country, with intensive enlightenment programmes in the rural areas.

This will require effective collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Education, State Governments, Local Governments, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism, and the National Orientation Agency.

The Central Bank of Nigeria through its National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2020 should consider making provisions for the inauguration of “Financial Inclusion Champions” who will take the responsibility of scaling financial inclusion in all the 774 local government areas of the federation. 

To achieve a broader perspective in boosting financial inclusion in the country, regulators and policy makers need to come up with dynamic initiatives that can achieve mass scale participation in the financial services industry.

Financial inclusion is intended to serve 40 million low income earners in the country. 

All stakeholders must show commitment to driving the process, which will go a long way in addressing the issues that have hindered Nigeria’s progress in financial inclusion.

With the growing trend of technology, the Fintech companies will be critical here in providing products and services that can reach out to millions of the unbanked population in Nigeria.

An enabling regulatory environment from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria will lead Fintechs to provide innovative services.

To achieve a far-reaching result in the crusade, the media is a veritable tool in driving mass mobilization across the country. In achieving the financial inclusion agenda, the financial media should be engaged by all stakeholders (EFINA, CBN, SEC) to drive publicity and awareness in the country.