By Omodele Adigun
The nation has inched closer to achieving its dream of 100 per cent financial inclusion of the citizenry as new data from the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) put the financial inclusion rate at 63.2 per cent.
According to the 2019 annual report of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), the financial inclusion in the country increasing to 63.2 per cent from 58.4 per cent recorded the previous year.
The report stated that year 2019 started with a renewed vigor and determination by stakeholders to work collaboratively in ensuring the outstanding gap of 16.8 per cent was closed within the next two years. “To that effect,the year largely focused on developing high impact policies and initiative that would facilitate the attainment of the inclusion objective, by closing the speci fic gap in disproportionately excluded demographics like women, youth, rural dwellrs, MSMEs and Northern Nigeria.”
The report states that, while 2019 was not a measurement year, stakeholders put a robust framework on ground to ensure progress is appropriately tracked and deviations are timely corrected to ensure the successful implementation of planned initiative and to remain on track for year 2020. “Unlocking innovative channels and addressing underlying issues in the Digital Financial Services Ecosystem , the Payment Service Bank (PSB) Licensing and Regulatory framework that was issued in 2018 led to an increase activity of some innovative promoters that wanted to come into the financial services space to extend the rails of financial services to the unbanked. This led to the issuance of Approval in Principle (AIP) licences to three promoters. A functional Id system is a critical foundational infrastructure for the expansion of the Digital Financial Services (DFS) frontier to hitherto unreached.”