OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria has moved up six places to 30th position in the new global financial inclusion ranking with an overall score of 53 points in the latest report by Economist Intelligence Unit.

The report titled: ‘Global Microscope 2020, The Role of Financial Inclusion in COVID-19 response’, assessed the enabling environment for financial inclusion across five categories in 55 countries.

It said changes since 2019 were driven by improvements in Nigeria’s strategy to reduce the gender gap including a partnership with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion to develop a national woman’s financial inclusion strategy.

Nigeria, however, still ranked behin South Africa and Ghana which scored 65 and 59 points respectively, securing 13th and 20th positions in the global financial inclusion ranking.

Nigeria currently has an estimated 40 million adult population outside the formal financial system. The ranking rated the country low in areas of financial inclusion stability, integrity, and infrastructure.

Financial inclusion ranking by Economist Intelligence Unit
Financial inclusion ranking. Credit: Economist Intelligence Unit

Lower income regions scored 62 points in the financial inclusion infrastructure category but Nigeria scored 57.

“While there was a 300% increase in mobile money sign-ups in the second quarter, there is no evidence of measures to support digital financial services,” the report said.

Financial inclusion refers to efforts by governments to make financial products and services accessible and affordable to all individuals and businesses, regardless of their personal net worth or company size.