The registrar, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Oluseye Awojobi has said the role of financial inclusion as a means of spurring MSME growth cannot be over emphasised.
He disclosed this yesterday at a virtual conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in collaboration with Credit Bureau Association of Nigeria (CBAN).
The conference had as its theme, “Enhancing Financial Inclusion in Nigeria: Changing the Narrative.”
Awojobi, who was represented at the conference by director, E- Learning and Development, CIBN, Mr Babatunde Apena, said that the theme of the conference was aimed at evoking an in-depth discussion on impact of access to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
He said that the subject matter was also aimed at exploring strategic measures that could improve business financing through credit reporting, adding that the surge on financial inclusion had been an age long challenge with distinctive implication for economic development.
He said, “ Individuals without access to basic bank facilities are left rightly to save, manage risk, take an adventure into business and also invest among other things. Likewise businesses without access to useful and affordable financial product are less likely to expand their operations, employ more labour and generate more revenue.’’
Also speaking at the conference, a financial expert, Mrs Luz Maria Salamina, advised banks and other financial players to embrace the new opportunities represented in embedded credit to drive financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Salamina, who is a Lead Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group and Secretariat of the International Committee on Credit Reporting, gave the advice at a stakeholder’s conference in Lagos.
“In Nigeria, embedded credit has supplied already an estimated N278 billion or $689 million as of 2021 and it is estimated that the demand for embedded credit in Nigeria will be N900 billion ($2.2 billion). You can see what the most popular embedded credit issued already have offered Nigeria –the Buy now Pay later which is the most popular one,
Merchant Cash Advances, Vehicle Finance, Trade Finance, Inventory Finance and BNPL,’’ she said.
Also speaking, the chairman of CIBAN, Dr Jameelah Sharrief-Ayedun, said that Nigeria was still far from financial inclusion target of 80 per cent, though there had been some proof in the number of people opening account.
“The virtual gathering today has demonstrated our vision of ensuring that financial inclusion is promoted in Nigeria which will subsequently stimulate a stronger economy for all stakeholders. Nigeria has seen a proof in the number of people opening account, people taking out loans from one and even several financial institutions and the influx of
Fintech apps. More than ever before, we are witnessing a level of progress being made in the financial sector,’’ he said.