The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that it has achieved a significant milestone of 64.1% financial inclusion.
Financial inclusion refers to the accessibility and availability of affordable financial services and products to all segments of the population, especially those who are traditionally underserved or excluded from the formal financial system.
The goal of financial inclusion is to ensure that individuals and businesses have access to basic financial services, such as banking, credit, insurance, and savings accounts, regardless of their income level or geographical location
During an event in Lagos, Paul Oluikpe, Assistant Director of Financial Development at CBN, revealed the bank’s ambitious goal to further enhance financial inclusion to 95% by the year 2024.
Oluikpe highlighted CBN’s efforts to simplify the Know Your Customer (KYC) process by dividing it into different tiers, making it easier for people to access financial products and services.
He stressed that there is still much work to be done, as reaching 64.1% inclusion is not enough.
He acknowledged that some internal processes within financial service providers might cause delays in signing up customers, and the CBN aims to coordinate the industry to ensure speed and efficiency.
To achieve the higher inclusion target, CBN has undertaken various strategies, including awareness campaigns and collaborative efforts with stakeholders from the financial services sector, such as insurance, pensions, capital markets, and micro-financial banks.
These initiatives aim to promote financial literacy, especially regarding digital financial services, as illiteracy has been identified as a barrier to utilizing such services.
The CBN has now implemented its new financial inclusion strategy 3.0 and conducted a review to identify gaps in its execution.
The bank remains committed to fine-tuning its approach to meet the diverse needs of different institutions and ultimately achieve its 95% financial inclusion goal by 2024.