Nigeria has missed its target of achieving 80 per cent financial inclusion of its adult population by 2020, a new report says.
According to a report by the Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), 36 per cent of Nigerian adults (38 million adults), remained completely financially excluded at the end of 2020.
In 2019, the country had targeted through the National Financial Inclusion Strategy reducing financially excluded adults to 20 per cent.
However, data from the report “Access to financial services in Nigeria survey” showed that only 64 per cent of Nigerian adults were financially included by the end of 2020.
Of the 64.1 percent, 50.5percent (54.6 million adults) of Nigerian adults had access to formal financial services in 2020. The figure was up from 48.4 million.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the data indicated that Nigeria had a higher rate of financial exclusion than many other countries.
“Although Nigeria has a higher proportion of banked adults than many comparator countries, it also has a high proportion of financially excluded adults at 36percent,” the report said.
It said the financially excluded are predominantly dependents, reside in rural areas, have low education with and low proximity to access points
Of the 38 million financially excluded adults, 43 per cent live in the North West of the country.
Also, 56 per cent of the financially excluded adults are male while the female is 44 per cent.
The survey said that despite challenging economic circumstances, financial inclusion continued to grow incrementally, with more than half of Nigerian adults using formal (regulated) financial services for the first time.
“However, at the current rate of progress, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy targets for 2020 will not be met until around 2030,” it said. “Stubborn access gaps have persisted since 2008 for the most excluded groups: women, Northern Nigerians, Nigerians in rural areas, and youth. The main barriers to financial inclusion remain institutional exclusion, affordability, access, and low awareness” it said.
It also said the use of financial service agents, and use of digital financial services grew faster in 2020.
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