According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 60% of the financially-excluded in Nigeria are adults under the age of 35, implying that technology could be a way to reach the untapped market.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the commission, Mr Lamido Yuguda, represented by Mr Temidayo Obisan, Executive Commissioner Operations, SEC, at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria 2021 Annual Workshop, according to NAN. He said that statistics have shown that financial inclusion initiatives should be primarily targeted at women, rural residents, less educated, younger generation and those that do not work in the formal sector
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According to Yuguda, income research shows that 94% of financially excluded adults are either dependents, business owners, or farmers, with only 1% working in the official sector. In addition, 60 per cent of financially-excluded adults are below the age of 35.
“Data provided by CSCS as of Q1 2021 indicated that there are 4.9 million investors in the stock market, of which 3.3 million (67 per cent) are male, 1.5 million (31 per cent) are female while 0.12 million are corporate accounts. Yuguda said that according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, there were approximately 191 million active mobile users and 140 million active data subscribers in Nigeria as of October 2021.
He stated that utilising technology will provide a cost-effective way to reach out to the underserved population, particularly rural residents, and it will make it easier to serve current consumers. “Financial institutions are increasingly using electronic channels to onboard clients and address customers’ queries and bring financial product offerings to prospective users.
“The use of technology in offering capital market instruments has been on the rise, helping to reduce the inefficiencies of the past and driving liquidity and diverse holdings of capital market instruments. Additionally, technology is making access to credit much faster and easier,” he said.
The Director-General said that it had become possible to access credit within seconds using USSD services or mobile banking app, and many fund managers also use technology to offer investment products to investors seamlessly.
According to him, leveraging technology to offer financial services has an advantage over traditional means because it breaks down geographical constraints and reduces the cost of providing financial transactions.