By Bukola Adetoye
Lagos – The Chairman of Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), Miss Modupe Ladipo, has advised Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise capital requirements for microfinance banks to drive financial inclusion.
Ladipo gave the advice at the Accion Microfinance Bank Financial Inclusion Conference held on Saturday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference had the theme: “Making Financial Inclusion a Certainty in Nigeria by 2020’’.
The year 2020 Financial Inclusion targets to provide universal financial access to all working age adults by 2020.
According to the EFInA boss, although more than 50 microfinance policies have been formulated to drive financial inclusion, a research conducted in 2016 shows that 41.6 per cent of Nigerians are financially excluded.
“In 2008, research conducted by EFInA revealed that about 53.5 per cent were financially excluded but CBN monetary policies such as mobile money transactions, agency banking system and micro insurance reduced it to 29.1 in 2014.
“ But as at 2016, the percentage of the financially excluded shot up to 41.6 per cent.’’ she said.
She claimed that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM)’s micro insurance policy had not impacted much on financial inclusion.
The microfinance expert said that there was an urgent need for CBN to increase capital requirements for microfinance banks so that more Nigerians could be brought into the financial net through micro finance.
“How many Nigerians will benefit from N20 million capital requirement for unit microfinance banks?’’ she asked.
The Managing Director of ACCION Microfinance Bank, Mrs Olubunmi Lawson, said that the bank would continually drive financial inclusion using digital process.
She said that the bank had granted N6 billion loans to 169,000 customers since it was established in 2006.
“The bank also has 60 branches including in seven states.”
NAN reports that Accion Microfinance Bank was established to economically empower micro-entrepreneurs and low income earners by providing financial services in a sustainable, ethical and profitable manner. (NAN)