The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in October 2012, crafted a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for achieving 80% overall financial inclusion by year 2020 from the base line figure of 46.3% in 2010. The CBN refreshed/revised the 2012 NFIS in 2018 to address changes in the regulatory and financial technology landscape with a view to accelerate achievement of the strategic objective of 80 per cent financial inclusion by the year 2020. This paper reviews relevant literature to assess efforts at expanding financial inclusion through the strategy encapsulated in NFIS (2018). Data was gathered from published sources (Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access in Nigeria Survey reports, World Bank Global Findex reports, the Central Bank of Nigeria; Interswitch & Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System annual reports) as well as supply-side data derived from statutory returns submitted by financial service providers to their respective regulatory agencies. Evidence from the study show that 2018 financial inclusion targets (products, channels, enablers, financial literacy & other initiatives for youth and gender inclusion) fell short of expectations, indicating that the 2020 targets are unlikely to be met. This study recommends that the identified critical challenges militating against financial inclusion expansion should be addressed. In particular, financial education among all stakeholders in the financial inclusion process should be instituted more purposively.
Clement Chiahemba Ajekwe,
Assessment of Efforts at Expanding Financial Inclusion in Nigeria, International Journal of Economics, Finance and Management Sciences. Special Issue: Financial Inclusion and Challenges Ahead.
Vol. 8, No. 5,
2020, pp. 180-187.
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