By Providence Emmanuel
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, announced a financial inclusion target of 64 new customers per month for each branch of Microfinance Banks, MfBs, in the country.
The target followed a series of meeting between the CBN and MfB operators on the contributions of the subsector towards the achievement of the nation’s goal of 80 percent financial inclusion by 2020.
Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, CBN, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, announced this target in a letter to all MfBs, titled: “Letter to all Microfinance Banks, MfBs, on the Revised National Financial Inclusion Targets.”
The letter reads: “It will be recalled that the National Financial Inclusion strategy (NFIS) was launched in October 2012 and revised in 2018 with the major objective of increasing the percentage of adult Nigerians who own bank accounts and use formal financial services from the baseline figure of 46.3 percent in 2010 to 80 percent by 2020.
“Over the last six years of implementation of the strategy, MfBs have contributed significantly towards the realization of the stated objective. As at the end of 2018, 63.2 percent or 63 million adult Nigerians were financially served leaving an inclusion gap of 36.8 percent or 36.6 million adult Nigerians that need to be included.
“Given the short time to the end of the target date, it has become expedient for all stakeholders to double efforts towards the realization of the targeted 80 percent inclusion rate.
“In a bid to mobilize stakeholders on the Revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS 2.0) and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the target, the CBN held a stakeholders’ forum for all financial service providers in the six geo-political zones in the first and second quarters of 20l9 which was attended by representatives of MfBs.
“The objective of the forum was to expose stakeholders to the detailed provisions of the revised strategy (NFlS 2.0) and their expected roles/responsibilities in the financial inclusion agenda.
“One of the major resolutions reached at the event was the setting of a target for each branch of a MfB to acquire 64 new customers per month. This translates to 774 new bank accounts (measured by new BVN registration) per branch per year. Given the urgency of this task, it is important to cascade the target to your branches for their information and implementation.’’
“Consequently, all MfBs are hereby requested to implement the above resolution and disseminate same to all their branches (where applicable) to ensure concerted efforts towards achieving the overarching target of 80 percent financial inclusion by the year 2020.”