6 November 2017

Nigeria: Report - Only 1.8% of Nigerians Accessed Bank Credit in 2016

The percentage of adult population in Nigeria that had borrowed or paid back a loan through a regulated financial institution in 2016 increased marginally from 1.5 per cent in 2014, to 1.8 per cent in 2016.

This was far below the 2016 target of a formal credit penetration of 28.8 per cent.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed this in the 2016 Annual Report of its National Financial Inclusion StrategyImplementation posted on its website at the weekend.

According to the report, in terms of electronic payment and savings, the percentage of the adult population owning a commercial bank account, proxied by the percentage of adults having a Bank Verication Number (BVN), increased from 23.6 per cent in 2015 to 28 per cent in 2016. It explained that the achieved value as at 2016 was still behind the 2016 payments and savings targets of 56.4 and 45.6 per cent, respectively.

Furthermore, it revealed that the percentage of adult population covered by a regulated insurance policy increased from 1.1 per cent in 2014 to 1.8 per cent in 2016, citingestimates from the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA's) Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 and 2016 surveys.

The penetration was far below the 2016 target of 24.8 per cent.

It added: "The percentage of the adult population that is registered with a pension scheme regulated by the National Pension Commission increased from 7.5 per cent in 2015 to 7.9 per cent in 2016.

"While the trend was positive, only about one third of the dened 2016 target of a penetration of 25.6 per cent was achieved.

"The number of commercial bank branches per 100,000 adults marginally declined from 5.7 in 2015 to 5.6 in 2016, continuing the negative trend since 2010. The target of 7.5 branches per 100,000 adults, therefore, was missed.

"The number of microfinance bank branches per 100,000 adults stayed constant at 2.3 between 2015 and 2016. Compared to the 2016 target of 4.6 branches per 100,000 adults, only 50 per cent of the target was reached."

Additionally, the report revealed that the number of ATMs per 100,000 adults increased slightly from 17.2 in 2015 to 18m in 2016.

But, the achieved value was lower than the target of 46.2 ATMs per 100,000 adults for 2016.

Also, the number of point of sale (PoS) terminals per 100,000 adults accounted for 116.3 in the year under review, which represented a decrease from 122.4 PoS terminals per 100,000 adults in 2015. The 2016 target of 524.1 PoS devices per 100,000 adults was missed, according to the report.

In the same vein, the number of mobile money agents, which were registered on CBN's Agent Banking Database as at December 2016 was 18,228, representing 18.8 agents per 100,000 adults.

This was 51 per cent of the 2016 target of 37.2 agents per 100,000 adults.

It also put the percentage of the adult population that had registered for a National Identification Number (NIN) as at December 2016 at 15.1 per cent. This, it stated represented a laudable increase of 101 per cent, relative to the 2015 value of 7.5 per cent. However, the increase was not enough to reach the 2016 target of 67.2 per cent.

"Low awareness, of mobile money, remained a key issue to financial inclusion. It is recommended that financial services providers scale up their sensitisation activities and that apex associations consider joint industry-wide initiatives on increasing awareness, as they are expected to be more effcient than multiple programmes conducted by financial services providers individually.

"2016 also represented the mid-point of the eight-year implementation period of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy. In order to review in detail the progress made so far and accelerate the achievement of the defined financial inclusion targets, in its meeting on September 29, 2016, the National Financial Inclusion Steering Committee approved that a review of the Strategy should be conducted in 2017," it added.

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