The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that 28 million bank customers have never received loans from their banks. Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Directorate, CBN, Aisha Ahmad, said this while speaking at the 4th National Fintech Conference, in Lagos.
Lamenting the huge financial access gap in the country especially in terms of access to credit, she said: “Out of 40 million Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) and about 12 million have credit history and that gap is to be looked at.
“Yes, 63.2 per cent of Nigerians are financially included but financial inclusion is not inclusion itself it is about also expanding access within those that are included.”
Stressing the need for innovation in bridging the financial inclusion gap especially access to credit gap, Ahmad called on banks and fintechs to pursue responsible innovation which promotes inclusion in the financial industry.
“Firstly, responsible innovation, it must be inclusive, to address all our issues on financial inclusion, gender inclusion, youth inclusion; and it must be held accountable because they say to whom much is given, much is expected and when you come into the industry to enable inclusion and to drive growth, we want you to add value to what you met and to make it better and forestall any of the challenges.”she said
She also stressed the need for platforms that drive engagements and collaboration as represented by the National Fintech conference, saying: “It is important for collaboration; it is important that policymakers, the market, the traditional banks; the payment service companies; and all the new companies that are trying to come into the payment space have a platform for dialogue.
When speakers come together they talk from their perspective and that is how the policymakers will understand.”
The 2017 audit report of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF) has revealed that the there was an unusual delay in payment of N23,096,824,505 by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). According to the report, the audit reviewed records of outstanding tax refunds for the level of compliance with the law on tax refunds. “In the course of ascertaining the appropriateness and accuracy of outflows from tax refund account maintained by both FIRS and OAGF for the year under audit, we observed that FIRS internal processes were not compliant with Section 23(3) of FIRS ACT 2007, “Any tax refund shall be made within 90 days of the decision of the service made to subsection (2) of this section, with the option of setting off against future tax by the tax payer. “The following specific observations were made; applications for tax refund as at 31st December, 2017 stood at N47,436,473,379.94 while amount due for payments on that date stood at N23,096,824,505; the budgetary provision for tax refund in year 2017 was N25,000,000,000; there were delays in approval from management after tax audit. “There were also delays in refund to taxpayer after tax audit and approval stages had been carried out. “This is inconveniencing to tax-payers and impacts on the finances of households and businesses.” As a recommendation, the AuGF, Mr Anthony Ayine, said the Chairman of FIRS was required to ensure that the yearly budgetary provision for tax refund is adequate and that the 90-day time frame for tax refund is met. In another development, out of the revenue of ₦2,407,699,164,056.12 payable to the federation account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Corporation deducted the sum of ₦1,332,077,481,384.22 for Joint Venture Cash Call (JVC) before paying the resulting net figure of ₦1,075,621,682,671.90 into the Federation Account. Again, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) collected the sum of ₦733,054,301,173.04 but paid a net figure of ₦706,283,397,141.80 to the Federation Account after deducting excess proceeds on royalty of ₦26,770,904,031.24.