The banking industry processed 1.4 billion electronic transactions valued at N97.4 trillion in 2017 compared to 869 million transactions valued at N69.1 trillion recorded in 2016, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele made this known to newsmen .
The Governor confirmed the figures in Abuja at the maiden edition of the National Financial Literacy Stakeholders Conference with the theme: “Implementing Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection to advance Financial Inclusion in Nigeria”.Emefiele used in the occasion to unveil four strategic policy documents on financial inclusion.
The four policy documents are: the revised National financial inclusion strategy, consumer protection framework; national financial literary framework and national financial education strategy. Represented by Deputy Governor, financial system stability Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, Emefiele reiterated the country’s commitment to meeting the adopted target of achieving 20% exclusion rate by 2020. “
The benefit of a financially literate population is immense. Consumers are better equipped to make optimal choices in the use of financial products, pose lower credit and default risk, constitute a market for sustainable financial services and products, reinforce competitive pressure on financial institutions for better products and services, and promote Financial System Stability by increasing market demand and responsible use of financial services “. “ Low financial awareness and literacy levels as well as consumer confidence remain critical issues that we must look at more closely if our financial inclusion strategy is to succeed. This is even more so considering the revolution that we are witnessing in the payment system.
Today, the financial system is probably the most affected by technological advancement. New digital products and services have emerged and the internet greatly influences consumers purchasing decisions as they continue to adopt e-commerce. For instance, in 2017, in the banking industry, 1.4 billion electronic transactions valued at N97.4 trillion were processed as against 869 million transactions valued at N69.1 trillion recorded in 2016”, said the governor. He said building inclusive financial systems has become an important objective for policymakers around the world given the positive effects that financial inclusion has on poverty reduction and enhancing economic prosperity.
In 2012, Nigeria launched a National Financial Inclusion Strategy and adopted a target to achieve 20% exclusion rate by 2020. The latest Access to Financial Services Survey by EFInA indicates that about 36.8% of eligible Nigerian adults do not have access to Financial Services, down from 41.6% recorded in 2016.
“Whilst the improvement is encouraging, there is still considerable work to be done to achieve the overall 20% target exclusion rate by 2020. And the Revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy rightly identifies Consumer Protection and its constituent pillar of Consumer Education as critical to the attainment of its objectives”, Emefiele said. In his opening remark earlier, CBN Director, consumer protection department Mr. Kofo Salam – Alada identified some challenges of financial inclusion