By Elizabeth Adegbesan
In a bid to drive financial inclusion and create employment in the country, Bics Enterprise in collaboration with Nigeria Postal Service (Nipost) and Software Group, said it is set to deploy agent banking distribution channels in the country.
The agent distribution network, according to Bics, will provide employment for over 10,000 Nigerian youths and add 20 million unbanked and underserved Nigerians to the banking system, within two to three years after deployment.
Bics’ Director, Corporate Services, Mr. Greg Nwamadi, yesterday, disclosed this during a workshop on financial inclusion held in Lagos.
Speaking on the sidelines with Journalists, Nwamadi said: “The major objective of Bics Enterprise is to provide channels to drive financial banking to rural areas. We are ruling out an agent distribution network that will provide employment for over ten thousand Nigerians in a short term.
“We are going to activate Nipost locations as transaction centres which are about 4000 locations. Every location will have a mandate, because we are going to be involving micro-finance banks worldwide. The agreement we have with Nipost on this innovation is exclusive to micro-finance banks and Non- financial banking institutions. Commercial banks can come as settlement bank. We are already discussing with one or two of them to come in as settlement banks.”
Sales Manager, Africa, Software Group, Joseph Agyeman-Badu, noted that the innovation was a direct drive to the achievement of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) 2013 financial inclusion goal.
“Going on a national level is not a walk in a park; we will need to take some time. When we are done with our plotting we will be ready to go on a National scale. This innovation is a direct drive towards CBN’s 2013 financial inclusion goal.
“The underserved and the unbanked are the people that you won’t find in Lagos but in rural areas. 90 million Nigerians today do not even have bank accounts or have bank accounts but cannot access financial services. This innovation is going to break that gap. In 2 to 3 years, we will add at least 20 million out of the 90 million unbanked and underserved into the banking space.”