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Strategic plan to catalyse financial inclusion growth in Nigeria

Access to formal financial services in Nigeria remains low. The most recent Access to Finance Services (A2F) Survey in 2018 indicates that only 49% of adults have accounts with formal financial institutions, compared with Kenya’s over 80%.

The northern part of Nigeria remains the least financially included (as low as 27% in north west). Women and the rural poor rely heavily on informal financial providers such as savings-and-loans groups/associations or microfinance institutions to access financial services. Inclusion across the country remains weak. Many formally included people also have limited access to financial services that they need.

EFInA was established in 2007 as part of DFID’s Financial Sector Development Programme to focus on promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria. To date EFInA has helped establish the inclusion agenda in Nigeria. It has driven and supported some key new products, services and regulation, and tracked progress through the A2F Surveys. The Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion secretariat has aided its establishment.

EFInA’s existing strategy was due to come to an end in 2018. This coincided with DFID developing new strategic priorities for all the Financial Sector Development Programmes on the continent. EFInA therefore commissioned Genesis to develop its 2019-2022 strategy, ensuring its alignment with DFID’s ambitions.

To achieve this, Genesis conducted a macroeconomic, financial sector policy and regulatory review to identify areas where EFInA could invest to catalyse further development of the sector and market.

The team then reviewed DFID’s new priority areas to identify overlaps that were used to develop EFInA’s new strategic plan. Next the Genesis team reviewed EFInA’s existing personnel, capital, soft and hard infrastructure, and systems to identify strengths and areas for development. Through this the team was able to recommend a revised structure to support the delivery of the new strategic plan.

This strategic plan was successfully used by EFInA to secure funding for a further three years.

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