The Nigerian Communications Commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Bank of Nigeria to enable digital mobile operators incorporate Special Purpose Vehicles to offer mobile money services.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umaru Danbatta, stated this while hosting the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Financial Inclusion for Development, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Danbatta said a joint technical committee raised by the NCC and the CBN was also addressing the modalities that would enable mobile operators to register SPVs through which they would be become mobile money operators.
He stated, “The National Financial Inclusion Strategy sets out milestones and targets to be met to reduce the percentage of financially excluded adult population in Nigeria to 20 per cent by the year 2020.
“However, it is evident from statistics that decisive steps need to be taken to address financial inclusion in Nigeria. According to the Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2016 Survey, 41.6 per cent of the Nigerian adult population are financially excluded, with the financially excluded population growing from 36.9 million in 2014 to 40.1 million in 2016.”
Responding, Queen Maxima said it was important that both the NCC and CBN collaborate to bring more Nigerians within the bracket of financial services and pledged the assistance of her team to help the country address challenges that would arise with the efforts towards mobile money services.
Meanwhile, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Wednesday said the apex bank would aggressively pursue its 20 per cent financial exclusion target by 2020.
The governor stated this when Queen Maxima visited the bank’s headquarters in Abuja.
The financial inclusion strategy was launched on October 12, 2012 with a target to achieve 20 per cent exclusion rate by 2020.
Emefiele said while the 80 per cent financial inclusion target was very ambitious, the bank would work with the NCC on how best to take advantage of mobile communications to reach those that were financially excluded.
He stated that within a six-year period covering 2010 to 2016, the apex bank had been able to reduce the level of Nigerians that were financially excluded from 46.3 per cent to about 41 per cent.
While stating that more work needed to be done, he said the bank would need the assistance of the United Nations to achieve the target.