Low Mobile Phone Penetration, Lack Of Infrastructure Hindering Financial Inclusion

The lack of infrastructure and insufficient mobile phone penetration in the country is hindering the country’s target of achieving financial inclusion in the country, an expert has said.

The Chief Product Officer, Nibox, Brian Manuwuike, stated this in an interview with ‘Punch’.

According to him, financial technology companies were currently serving about 35 percent of Nigeria’s population.

This figure, he said still leaves Nigeria with more room for improvement.

Manuwuikwe said that the presence of telecommunication service providers in the country has increased the exposure of Nigerians to telecommunication services.

This, he said has been supported by increased penetration of FinTech companies in the country.

“Access to digital payments drives the adoption of financial services. Once consumers use the service for the first time and have a good experience, they will always return to convenience.

“The problem with inclusion in Nigeria is not just a lack of infrastructure but also a relatively low smartphone penetration. Currently, it is about 35 percent, which means that, at best, most fintech products are capped at 35 percent of the population.

“These barriers continue to drive the economy’s reliance on cash, with 9/10 of transactions in Nigeria still settled in physical currency.

“Nigeria needs more investments in the offline infrastructure where consumers can access financial products/services with cash and without a smartphone. Offline distribution will drastically really drive financial inclusion.”


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