Some petty traders in Sango Otta, a major commercial hub in Ogun State, have given reasons why they do not operate bank accounts.
The traders, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES at the weekend, sell different goods in areas like Toll Gate, Otta, Ojuore, Dalemo, Ijoko and environs.
Although a few them said they operate inactive bank accounts, others said they do not operate accounts at all due to a number of financial and logistic reasons.
Traders lament distance, long queues and bank charges
Sade Adeniyi, a trader who deals in provisions, said on her part, she does not operate conventional bank accounts because of the size of her business.
“I sell provisions and the total value of my wares is about N10, 000 to N15, 000,” she said in Yoruba.
“I make a turnover of about N2, 500 daily. How am I supposed to operate a bank account that way?”
She added that getting to the closest bank to her shop in Dalemo would cost her about N100, which she explained remains counter-productive since she makes very little profit from her sales.
Elizabeth, another trader who sells cosmetic products in Oju-ore, said the charges on the account she operated in the past forced her to close it down before her business collapses. She described as insensitive the charges some Nigerian banks deduct from accounts.
“The charges on our accounts can be very crazy. I closed my account with a bank (name withheld) because of the huge charges. How much do I even make from sale?”
Another trader, Biliaminu Kareem, said he operates an account but it has remained dormant for months because of the logistic concerns attached to using it daily. He attributed the development to safety and security measures he adopted by keeping his relatively small capital at home rather than the bank.
“Many times, you go to bank and queue for hours,” he said, adding that he would rather spend such quality time doing business.
Financial inclusion still a challenge
Over the years, the issue of financial inclusion has been a global concern.
In 2018, according to Findex data, close to one-third of adults – 1.7 billion – are still unbanked across the globe.
In Nigeria, a survey conducted in 2008 by a development finance organization, the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, revealed that about 53.0 per cent of adults were excluded from financial services.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, through its National Financial Inclusion Strategy, has however intensified efforts on how to ensure that more Nigerians have access to qualitative financial services.