Nigeria: 500,000 agent banks to be established in rural areas
Abuja, April 26, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is working with the Bankers’ Committee to establish 500,000 agent banks in parts of the country, especially in places with high rate of financial exclusion like the north east and northwest.
Director, Banking and Payments System Department, CBN, Dipo Fatokun, who disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, said the agent banks and payment points would be taken nearer to the people.
This, he added, will drastically reduce financial exclusion and help achieve CBN’s financial inclusion target of 20 per cent by 2020.
In a presentation titled “Nigeria’s Progress Towards the Creation of Robust, Trusted and Inclusive Financial Services Environment,” at the ongoing electronic identity for Africa summit; tagged ‘ID4Africa 2018’, the CBN Director stated that the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) as unique identifier in the banking industry has infused confidence in the sector.
He enumerated other benefits of BVN to include helping governments to identify ghost workers, combating fraud in the banking industry; as well as assisting bank customers to develop good credit culture.
“As we speak, the deposit money banks working under the auspices of the Bankers’ Committee chaired by the Central Bank, is working at enrolling and deploying five hundred thousand agents before the end of the year, with primary focus in areas that we have higher number of financial exclusion especially in the northeast and the northwest,” Fatokun stated.
He further said that 10.15 million of the 14.04 million BVN sent to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) by the apex bank has been translated to the National Identity Number (NIN).
Notwithstanding that the number of financially excluded adults as at 2016 was 41.6 per cent; he assured that CBN will reduce it to 20 per cent by 2020.