Journalism of Courage

CBN wants to bank 190 million Nigerians by 2023

The Central Bank of Nigeria said it plans to ensure that 95 percent of eligible Nigerians have access to financial services by 2024. That is about 190 million Nigerians, with almost all commercial banks now targeting children ages zero to 17 years.

“Over the next five years, through initiatives and policy measures such as the Shared Agent Network (SANEF) and the payment service banks, we intend to broaden access to financial services to individuals in underserved parts of the country,” the bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele told reporters on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Emefiele, while highlighting his five-year agenda, said CBN’s banking supervisory and consumer protection department “will ensure that dispute resolution mechanism in financial institutions are not only efficient but also timely, in order to maintain the confidence of the Nigerian populace in the utilization of banking services.

“Our ultimate objective is to We will also intensify our financial literacy and consumer protection programs such that current and eligible bank customers are fully aware of the financial services being offered to them as well as the cost of utilizing these services, which will enable them to make well informed choices.”

The bank is also exploring new ways to expand consumer credit facilities to stimulate growth in the economy in a new framework that is expected to be announced soon.

“A lending framework will be announced by the CBN, under which large departmental stores, automobile companies, equipment leasing companies, in partnership with financial institutions, and the credit bureaus, will be able to provide credit facilities at reasonable interest rates to consumers. This will help to spur consumer spending and aid our efforts at driving the growth of our economy,” Emefiele said.

The CBN figure shows that less than 10 percent of Nigerian adult bank account holders utilize financial products offered by banks, such as credit cards, personal loans, mortgage loans, auto loans and consumer durable loans.

To read the full policy statement, click here.

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