Accion and its partner in Nigeria, Accion Microfinance Bank, held a strategic planning session on how to expand financial inclusion in Africa’s largest country. The key themes included increasing the scale of the microfinance banking sector, savings mobilization, MSME credit delivery, and potential opportunities in digital payments and channels.

The biggest gaps to achieving financial inclusion in the country/industry context in focus:

In Nigeria, we see the three biggest gaps as the lack of mobile and agent banking infrastructure, human capital in the microfinance banking sector, and a spirit of collaboration and partnership among the various players to achieve this national goal.

Key action steps to advance financial inclusion:

We agreed to focus our efforts on providing millions of low-income households and entrepreneurs with a safe, convenient place to save their hard-earned money by 2020.  We will review how we are currently offering this service and make relevant changes by June 2016.

Quote(s) from the discussion:

“This was a great learning experience for me to have some blue-sky thinking on how we can address the main challenges ahead of us. Microfinance banks are still nascent in Nigeria but can punch above their weight by partnering with others and using technology more effectively to provide access to quality financial services which enable people to shape a brighter future for themselves and their families.” 

– Bunmi Lawson, Managing Director, Accion Microfinance Bank

For more information on this market context, check out this country brief prepared with the FI2020 Inclusion Visualizer: