The Central Bank of Nigeria and Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access has declared that Nigeria is far from achieving its financial inclusion target in 2020.
The CBN disclosed this in the report titled ‘Assessment of women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria’ for December 2019 period which was released on Monday.
The report read: “Nigeria has the largest number of people living in extreme poverty in the world. Nearly 50% of the population endures extreme poverty, the unemployment rate stands at around 23%15, and a significant portion of Nigerians lack adequate education.
“Not surprisingly, financial exclusion stands at 36 percent for women and 24 per cent for men.
“The relative gender gap related to financial inclusion is ~20-30 per cent, placing Nigeria below its peers.
“Since 2012, although women’s exclusion has dropped, the gender gap has grown, revealing that men’s inclusion has improved more rapidly than women’s.
“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy was launched in 2012 to reduce financial exclusion to 20 per cent of the adult population.
“However, according to the revised NFIS, Nigeria is not on track to achieve its 2020 targets.
“Specifically, we conducted a desk research review of existing data sources, including Findex 2017 and EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2018 Survey, to understand the current state of the gender the gap in Nigeria compared to its peer countries;
“We interviewed financial service providers and non-financial support organisations to better understand the current financial services ecosystem in Nigeria.
“We administered a nationally representative quantitative survey focused on identifying drivers of the gender gap; and we performed qualitative analysis (based on human-centred design) to explore the key themes emerging from the quantitative survey in an effort to understand the needs, behaviours, and motivations of different segments of excluded women in Nigeria, explore the gaps that most impact women’s access to financial services in Nigeria, and identify characteristics of financial products and services that could meet the needs of excluded women.
“We also engaged a Project Management Team (PMT) (including senior members from EFInA and the Central Bank of Nigeria) and gender experts from a range of organisations with both Nigeria-specific and global expertise”, the report says.
The report added that progress towards financial inclusion had been adversely affected by unforeseen socioeconomic factors such as recession, the precarious security situation in parts of northern Nigeria, and other factors such as slow uptake of digital financial services.