Financial inclusion: FG to adopt agent banking framework

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From ISAAC ANUMIHE, OMODELE ADIGUN and CHIMA NWOKOJI, in Jigawa

Federal Government, yesterday, gave the indication of adopting an Agent Banking framework with a view to deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria. Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr Umaru Ibrahim, in his opening remarks at the 2012 Workshop of Business Editors and Finance Correspondents Association (FICAN) in Jigawa State, noted that beside the agency banking, the government is also adopting various policies towards ensuring that the over 70 per cent unbanked Nigerians can access banking services.

Other measures include all-women micro-finance institutions, automated teller machines etc. According to him, the agent banking policy, which was borrowed from Kenya, is a process whereby banks partner with pharmacy shops or supermarkets to operate banking services. “Another measure that could be adopted to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria is the promotion of all-women micro-finance institution.

Evidence from other countries, for example Kenya, has shown that such institutions have the potential to promote easy access to credit amongst rural poor women, especially at the group level, and could also be used to mobilise large quantum of savings among these group of people,” he said. However, the NDIC Chief Executive, regretted that despite these efforts at deepening financial serves, the regulator is still experiencing challenges.

“First, the distribution of microfinance banks as agents of fincnial inclusion is grossly uneven. Out of the 869 microfinance banks in existence, 346 or 39.81 per cent are located in the South West geopolitical zone, 162 or 18.64 per cent in the South East , 158 or 18.8 per cent in the North Central while only 63 or 7.25 per cent and 32 or 3.68 per cent are located in the North West and North East, respectively.

Lagos, Anambra and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja topped the list in the number of MFBs. The uneven distribution had exposed the untapped potentials that require attention in order to realise the government’s policy on financial inclusion,” he explained. The MD also stated that out of the total number of provisional and final micro-finance bank licences issued by the CBN, Northern Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had only 24.75 per cent.

Therefore, he said, to enhance financial inclusiFrom ISAAC ANUMIHE, OMODELE ADIGUN and CHIMA NWOKOJI, JIGAWA Federal Government yesterday gave the indication of adopting an Agent Banking framework with a view to deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria. Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr Umaru Ibrahim, in his opening remarks at the 2012 Workshop of Business Editors and Finance Correspondents Association (FICAN) in Jigawa State, noted that beside the agency banking, the government is also adopting various policies towards ensuring that the over 70 per cent unbanked Nigerians can access banking services.

Other measures include, all-women micro-finance institutions, automated teller machines etc. According to him, the agent banking policy, which was borrowed from Kenya, is a process whereby banks partner with pharmacy shops or supermarkets to operate banking services. Another measure that could be adopted to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria is the promotion of all-women micro-finance institution.

Evidence from other countries, for example, Kenya has shown that such institutions have the potential to promote easy access to credit amongst rural poor women, especially at the group level and cold also be used to mobilise large quantum of savings among these group of people?» he said. However, the NDIC Chief Executive, regretted that despite these efforts at deepening financial serves, the regulator is still experiencing challenges.

“First, the distribution of microfinance banks as agents of fincnial inclusion is grossly uneven. Out of the 869 microfinance banks in existence, 346 or 39.81per cent are located in the South West geopolitical zone, 162 or 18.64 per cent in the South East , 158 or 18.8 per cent in the North Central while only 63 or 7.25 per cent and 32 or 3.68 per cent are located in the North West and North East, respectively. Lagos, Anambra and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja topped the list in the number of MFBs.

The uneven distribution had exposed the untapped potentials that require attention in order to realise the government’s policy on financial inclusion” he explained. The MD also stated that out of the total number of provisional and final micro-finance bank licences issued by the CBN, Northern Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had only 24.75 per cent. Therefore, he said, to enhance financial inclusi

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