Banks Launch 500,000 Agents To Deepen Financial Inclusion

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), banks, licensed mobile money operators and super agents announced an agreement to fund the expansion of a shared agent network to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria as well as job creation in Nigeria.

This was announced yesterday at the share agent network press conference held in Lagos.

Ten licensed mobile money operators and super agents are expected to immediately deploy financial services agents’ outlets in undeserved urban and rural areas in Nigeria, with higher priority in the northern geo-political zones where financial exclusion is most predominant.

According to the programme, the CBN and deposit money banks will over the next few months roll out new initiatives, products and services to accelerate and deepen financial inclusion in nigeria.

Over the next three years, Nigeria banks aim to on-board and formally bank 60 million additional Nigerians, an average of 20 million yearly as well as enrol 40 million Nigerians for BVN. To this end, renewed focus will be given to driving low cost digital access, broadening financial literacy campaigns and creating micro loans, micro insurance and micro investment products for the benefit of excluded, underserved and low income nigerians.

Speaking on the shared agent network expansion programme, the chairman of the body of bank CEOs, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, also the CEO of Access Bank, said “this agreement reflects our commitment to aggressively pursue the CBN 2020 financial inclusion target in an integrated way with minimal systemic risk to the financial system.”

He stated that the initiatives will also generate over 500,000 new jobs over the next two years.

Also, speaking on behalf of the mobile money operators, the founder and CEO of Paga, Tayo Oviosu said, “to significantly grow financial inclusion in Nigeria, we need to offer truly effective digital financial services that operate on all mobile telecom networks and a robust nationwide network of agents for convenient access.

“The shared agent network expansion programme supports our plans to rapidly scale up the agent network over the next year. With this expansion programme, the entire financial industry will reach deeper into even more communities and give millions of Nigerians convenient access to financial services.”

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