By Bukola Idowu, Lagos
Although more Nigerians are being included in the financial system, more than 67 percent of the adult population does not access credit and many of those who do, don’t get it from the formal system.
According to the 2016 Efina Access to Finance survey just released, although the savings culture in the country has improved with 68 per cent of the adult population setting aside money, more are relying on friends and family for credit.
The survey revealed that of the 33 per cent who do borrow, 76.3 per cent borrow from their friends and family while 18.1 per cent borrow from informal sources. Data from the survey shows that only 2.7 and 2.8 per cent borrow from the banks and other formal sources respectively.
The Access to Financial Services survey revealed that 36.9 million Nigerians representing 38.3 percent of the adult population have access to a bank account. This is an improvement compared to 33.9 million adults who had bank accounts in 2014. The findings also revealed that 40.1 million adults representing 41.6 percent of the adult population are financially excluded.
Financial exclusion was more evident in the North West geopolitical zone with up to 70 percent of the population being excluded. In 2016, financial exclusion increased by 12 percent with Kano, Jigawa and Kebbi contributing the most to this trend. The South West geopolitical zone has already achieved the National Financial Inclusion Strategy target of reducing the proportion of adults that are financially excluded to 20 percent by 2020.
South East and South-South are closer than the northern regions to meeting the national target with 28 and 31 percent exclusion respectively. The North East and North West are however lagging behind on the national target with 62 and 70 percent of the adult population still excluded from the financial system.