A statement made at the launch of the 2018 Financial Inclusion Survey by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) by the Managing Director of the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Mr Niyi Ajao in Lagos on Tuesday revealed that about one million bank accounts are opened by Nigerians monthly and that Nigerians’ financial inclusion rate has experienced an increase from 45.4 per cent it was in 2016 to 63.6 per cent in 2018. According to him, the efforts of stakeholders in the financial industry were beginning to yield good results due to this latest increase. Nevertheless, he made it known that if the country is to meet the 20 per cent exclusion rate by the year 2020, more efforts has to be put in place.

From the survey report, only 63.6 per cent of Nigeria’s population which is about 99.6 million individuals are able to access financial services, the remaining 36.4 per cent of about 36.6 million individuals do not have the access. 55.9 per cent of this figure are women, while 44.1 per cent are men. Further details of the survey showed that 39.7 per cent of Nigeria’s population are banked.

Mr. Niyi Ajao stated that the NIBSS possess banking industry data and about one million new bank accounts are being recorded on a monthly basis. And also that most of these new accounts being opened are done by people who had already existing bank accounts. He further mentioned that the volume of electronic transactions keep increasing as over 30 million Bank Verification Number (BVN) holders keep making more transactions.

“Looking at the figures for adult population the EFINA reported in 2016, 96.4 million and the 99.6 million reported now.

“This shows a 3.3 per cent growth in the population and if you take a look at the number of financially included, it was 56.4 million at 2016 but has now increased to 63.6 million this year, increasing at 11 per cent.

“This increase is more than the population growth and this implies that the effort of all stakeholders is paying off, we need to keep it up and also improve if we really want to meet the 20 per cent exclusion by 2020”

He also talked about the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) which according to him has been in use to measure the payment behaviour of Nigerians since 2016. He said that the rate at which it is being used was slow but still growing until this year, 2018 when the volume increased reaching double the figure.

“This year by our estimation, we will be having over one billion NIP in 2018. In 2017, we did just half of that figure”

“Just this year, about 9.9million BVN holders performed the instant payment transactions we recorded in the third quarter, this increase is a somewhat lower than what we recorded in the bulk of e-payments. These transactions and opening of new bank accounts are being done by those with already existing bank accounts.

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