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28m bank customers don’t have access to loan. CBN

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.”

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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

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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.”

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