As part of efforts to boost financial inclusion, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and some other financial institutions have deigned a government savings account to capture financially excluded Nigerians into the banking system.
This was disclosed by a report from Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) a project powered by the CBN, commercial banks, Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems, licensed Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) and share agents.
The report on “What Nigerian Banks are Implementing to Accelerate Financial Inclusion in Nigeria”, said that the savings account would have features of insurance, pension and micro credit.
According to the report, the technical committee in charge of the initiative is liaising with the CBN and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to secure approval and launch the product on Oct.1.
It also said that other products planned to be introduced would include micro retail loans, micro retail savings, retail insurance and micro pension.
The report said that the project would deepen financial inclusion through an integrated ecosystem with strong regulatory oversight, consumer protection and interoperable payment systems with limited concentration risk.
“It will create a platform for Nigerian owned financial services companies to grow, whilst empowering and creating jobs for Nigerians.
“So, wherever you see the SANEF sign, you can perform basic financial services such as account opening, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, funds transfers and bills payments,” it said.
The report said the project would reduce transaction costs, improve convenience, create job opportunities and increased adoption of financial services.
The platform is expected to handle government’s social disbursements initiatives.
“The SANEF initiative involves on-boarding 40 million low income and un-served Nigerians into the financial system to help the banks achieve 70 million Bank Verification Number (BVN) bank accounts by 2020 from about 34 million at present. It is expected to increase financial access points from the current 50,000 to 500,000 by 2020 and deepening access to mobile and digital financial products,” the report said.