Nigeria: Access to Banks - Country Lags Behind Botswana, Kenya
Nigeria, August, 01 2011 -
Nigeria lags behind South Africa, Botswana and Kenya in terms of the percentage of the population that are financially served, a research conducted by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), has said.
EFInA is funded by the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is a financial sector development organization that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria.
According to its "Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2010 Survey", many Nigerians, for numerous reasons, are unbanked and lack access to formal financial services.
The report said that while 46.3 percent of Nigerians are financially excluded, only 26 percent of South Africa's populations are financially excluded, Kenyan 32.7 percent and Botswana 33 percent.
The report was delivered by the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Modupe Ladipo at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)'s 'Investor/Issuer Education Outreach Programme' in Port Harcourt, Rivers State last week.
A copy of the report obtained by our reporter said that in Nigeria, billions of naira circulate through the informal sector and "this has a negative impact on the country's economic growth and development."
According to the report, 63.5 percent of adult males are unbanked, 76.8 percent of adult females are unbanked and 78.8 percent of the rural population is unbanked.
It said that only 30 percent of the adult population currently has a bank account, which is equivalent to 25.4 million people. It also said that 67.2 percent of the adult population have never been banked, which is equivalent to 56.9 million people.
The report said that of the 25.4 million adults who are banked, 23.6 million have a savings accounts, 15.9 million have ATM cards and 6.5 million adults have current accounts.
"Of those that have a savings account, 2.2 million of them opened it because of a savings promotion," the report said.
It said that the main barriers to having a bank account are irregular income, unemployment and distance to the bank branch, "bank proximity is of greater concern to the rural population."
According to the report, factors which would most likely encourage the unbanked to open a bank account are being employed, having a bank closer to residence/work and understanding the benefits of being banked.