Key questions this article answers:

  1. CBN set a target to financially include 80% of Nigerian adults by 2020 but missed it (ended 2020 at a 65% inclusion rate). Does the AfriGo card scheme increase its chances of meeting its new 95% target inclusion rate by 2024? 

  2. There are 36 million unbanked Nigerian adults. What benefits will they gain from owning an AfriGo card?

Yesterday, Yomi, our financial analyst, shared a rather interesting take on CBN’s plans to introduce a new domestic card scheme (AfriGo) to help conserve our nation’s depleting fx reserves.

Another one of AfriGo’s bold promises is worth looking into because it concerns 38 million Nigerian adults.

Financial inclusion.

‘Financial inclusion’ is perhaps one of the most over-used filler words that can mean a lot of things and absolutely nothing at the same time.

What exactly does it mean for CBN?

In 2012, CBN rolled out a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), which laid out ambitious targets to financially include 80% of its adult population by 2020. At the time, just 32.5% of adults were financially included.

Going by the NFIS definitions, a ‘financially included’ adult can access (affordable) services offered by either a formal or informal financial service provider.

A formal service provider is any licensed financial institution (like a bank, microfinance bank, fintech startups, insurance companies, pension firms etc.). In contrast, informal providers are unlicensed independent agents that provide some form of financial service (i.e. ajo or community savings group).

The NFIS wasn’t just about increasing access.