The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has outlined seven important programs and initiatives that would help Nigeria achieve 95% financial inclusion by 2024.
The policies include the Payment System Vision (PSV) 2025, the National Fintech Strategy, the Strategy for Leveraging Agent Networks for Women’s Financial Inclusion, the Nigeria Financial Services Maps, the CBN Regulatory Sandbox, and a Fintech Bridge between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Egypt.
The statement provided to The Guardian states that the 2022 International Financial Inclusion Conference would be themed as follows and will be put on by the CBN and its partners in the financial inclusion governance committees: Over 5000 people from at least 78 different countries attended the conference titled “Financial Inclusion for all: Scaling Innovative Digital Models.”
Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, the CBN’s deputy governor for financial system stability, said that the conference took place at a pivotal point in Nigeria’s effort to advance financial inclusion and emphasized the importance of policies in doing so.
She stated: “Nigeria is indeed at an important tipping point for financial inclusion. At no time has there been a prevalence of an enabling regulatory environment, proliferation of digital technology, innovation and collaborative platforms between the public and private sector – all strategic levers required to scale financial inclusion in Nigeria.”
In her remarks, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSGSA) on Inclusive Finance, emphasized the important role that the new National Financial Inclusion Strategy will play in offering genuine opportunities for improving livelihoods. Examples of such strategies include those that make use of the National Insurance Number and the Bank Verification Number, among other policies.
At its Innovation Labs exhibition, the conference also featured 20 fintech and start-up companies, showcasing their various solutions for facilitating payments, digitizing platforms for informal financial services, and closing the financial inclusion gap.
The statement noted that over 59 policies and initiatives have been implemented by stakeholders since 2012 to date to achieve the goals of financial inclusion in the country. These policies and initiatives span the banking sector, the insurance sector, the capital market sector, and the institutions responsible for infrastructural development. The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who chairs the National Financial Inclusion Steering Committee, was quoted in the statement as having made this observation.
Emefiele stated that the CBN aims to achieve 95% rate of financial inclusion in Nigeria by the end of 2024. He added that the CBN has prioritized financial inclusion through its invention for over four million smallholder farmers and SMEs creating over two million jobs.