Nigeria's central bank is leveraging on microfinance banks to meet 80% financial inclusion by 2020

Nigeria's central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele speaks during the monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • CBN directs microfinance banks to register 64 new members per branch every month.
  • The apex bank says microfinance banks have contributed significantly towards the realisation of financial inclusion target
  • According to CBN, 63 million adult Nigerians representing 63.2% of the population are banked leaving an inclusion gap (unbanked population) of 36.8% or 36.6 million as of 2018.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed microfinance banks across the country to register 64 new customers every month per branch in order to meet the country's 80% financial inclusion rate by 2020

'Tokunbo Martine, Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the CBN, stated this in a letter addressed to all microfinance banks (MfBs) on the revised national financial inclusion targets.

“One of the major resolutions reached at stakeholders’ forum for all financial service providers in the six geopolitical zones in the first and second quarters of 2019 - was the setting of a target for each branch of a microfinance bank to acquire 64 new customers per month. This translates to 774 new bank accounts (measured by new BVN registration) per branch per year. Given the urgency of this task, it is important to cascade the target to your branches for their information and implementation.

“Consequently, all MfBs are hereby requested to implement the above resolution and disseminate the same to all their branches (where applicable) to ensure concerted efforts towards achieving the overarching target of 80% financial inclusion by the year 2020,” the letter reads in part. 

The apex bank said microfinance banks have contributed significantly towards the realisation of financial inclusion in the last six years of implementation of the NFIS strategy.

The National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) was launched in October 2012 and revised in 2018 with the major objective of increasing the percentage of adult Nigerians who own bank accounts and use formal financial services from the baseline figure of 46.3% in 2010 to 80% by 2020.

According to the CBN, 63 million adult Nigerians representing 63.2% of the population, were financially served as at 2018 leaving an inclusion gap of 36.8% or 36.6 million.

There are 898 microfinance banks (MfBs) in Nigeria according to the CBN data.

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