Why Nigerians Have a Meagre 28.6m Bank Accounts – Analysts  

Analysts have attributed the small number of bank accounts holder in the country to reliance of banks on public deposit funds, saying banks has done very little to key in to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion strategy.
According to them, marketing has been weak, while products have been mostly watery, catering mostly for the top echelon where they get about 80 percent of their deposits.
John Ogar, an ex-banker in Lagos told BusinessSense that, in the past, even when they send young beautiful girls out for marketing, the targets were the rich men or politicians.
Kayode Ogun, a financial analyst in Lagos also laments that the micro finance banks licensed by the central bank to attend to needs of the lower cadre mostly saw themselves as Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and so burden  their petty customers with very high interest rates.
The CBN has regretted that  that despite over 900 licensed Microfinance banks in the country, 22 Deposit Money Banks and other formal financial service institutions,  Nigeria can only boost of  about  28.6 million bank accounts in a population of over 164 million people.
Head,  Development Finance Department of CBN,  Ishaku Polycarp who spoke at the 7th Annual Banking and Finance Conference in Abuja,  said  that microfinance bank in the country have the ability to ensure financial involvement by all levels of the economy.
According to him “The CBN has designed and introduced into the system clear strategic framework that will enhance access to finance and accelerate action on financial inclusion drive in Nigeria.        “With the introduction of the MSME funds, the mobile money platform, agency banking and other initiatives,  more Nigerians will further be included, and consequently translating to enhanced economic activity. 
According to him,   this inclusion would create a virile economy for the country, and reposition in the world economy map.    Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer of Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc, Mr. Kunle Oketikun, said that the current restructuring of microfinance banks, would sooner than expected draw more people into the economic pyramid of the country.
“There is a lot of misconception about the practice of microfinancing in Nigeria, particularly the feeling that the institutions should operate within seating rooms of individuals. This is not correct as most microfinance banks in other countries are actually out-performing most of the big commercial banks in Nigeria.

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