56 million adults have no bank accounts — Survey

In Business & Economy

A new survey has revealed that 56.3 million adults, representing 64.1 per cent of the adult population, do not have bank accounts.

The survey carried out by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, an independent financial sector development organisation, showed that only 28.6 million people, representing 32.5 per cent of adult population have bank accounts.

The report, titled, ‘EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2012 Survey,’ made available to our correspondent on Friday, showed that “62.6 per cent of adult males are unbanked while 72.8 per cent of adult females are unbanked.”

It also said 76.2 per cent of the rural population had no bank accounts.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, EfINA, Ms. Modupe Ladipo, the banked group refers to people that currently have access to or use a deposit money bank, in addition to having any of these products – ATM card, credit card, savings account, current account, fixed deposit account, mortgage, overdraft, loan, and Islamic banking product.

Of the total adult population, 4.6 million adults, representing 5.2 per cent of the adult population, have a microfinance bank account.

In a bid to increase the growth of financial inclusion in the country, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi said on Thursday that the regulator would issue the draft framework of agency banking in December.

Sanusi had said, “We are working on a number of things. For example, the number of agents, the relationship among the telecommunications companies and some other things. But by December, we should issue the draft framework.”

The CBN governor also said there had been some improvement in the move to drive financial inclusion but added that there was still a long way to go.

A previous survey by EfINA last year had indicated that 52.8 million of the country’s adult population saved money regularly. But the survey showed that only 20.5 million of the 52.8 million were doing so in banks.

This, according to experts, confirms a widely accepted industry statistics that there are about 22 million bank accounts in the country.

The report also found that majority of the 23.8 million people, who kept money at home, were doing so with friends, families or through informal society or village associations.

The report further revealed that the main reasons those people did not have bank accounts were irregular income, unemployment and distance to bank branches. It added that bank proximity was of great concern to the rural population.

AITEC, the organisers of West Africa’s Mobile Banking and Money Conference, also said that Nigeria’s unbanked rates were a reflection of Africa’s average, with only 20 per cent of African families having bank accounts.


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