Major stakeholders in the Nigerian economy including the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and the Bill Gates Found
Major stakeholders in the Nigerian economy including the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and the Bill Gates Foundation are planning to reach a potential financial services market that is 40 million Nigerians strong. This is the estimated number of us that have no access to financial services.
This coming together was announced by Kosta Peric, the Assistant Director, Financial Services for the Poor for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the BusinessDay Financial Inclusion Summit held in Lagos, Nigeria.
Peric believes this initiative is vital because the unbanked Nigerians have it difficult to plan and eradicate poverty and it is equally vital that these Nigerians be empowered with the technology and capacity to carry out financial transactions.
This will help them access micro finance, loans and the stock market because effective tools for saving, transferring and accessing loans and reducing financial risks aid in getting out of setbacks and attaining financial stability over the long run.
“The BMGF is working with a number of partners in Nigeria to achieve the goal of dropping to 20 per cent financial exclusion by 2020. The partners include regulators, financial services providers and operators within the space.
The Foundation, while philanthropic, does not seek to focus on their monetary contributions, but are rather driven by impact.” Peric stated
Millions all over the world move out of poverty in a lot of ways via the adoption of new and cheaper farming technologies, by getting new jobs or investing in new business opportunities according to the Foundation
While it also noted that a huge number of people moving back into poverty because of poor health and financial setbacks and the lack of access to basic banking services magnifies the problems.
Statistics from the World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion Database state that globally, over 2.5 billion adults have no bank accounts.
Only 41% adults in developing economies own a bank account, it reduces to over 20% among adults living in below the poverty line.
The World Bank says that women are majorly unbanked in many developing countries with a meagre 37% of them having bank accounts, compared to 46% of men.
Peric said most poor households operate mostly the cash economy in the developing world – using cash, physical assets like jewellery and livestock, or even local money lenders and payment couriers to meet their financial needs.
These informal mechanisms are risky, expensive and hard to use apart from offering limited help when major problems like illness or a poor harvest occurs.