The efforts of deposit money banks in the country in driving the financial inclusion policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have been rated as below par.
Economic and financial experts, who spoke on Tuesday, May 12, in Lagos, said though some banks are making efforts at bringing banking to the unbanked Nigerians, some banks, especially, the Tier 1 banks seem not interested in the drive.
A former bank manager who now runs a financial advisory firm in Lagos, Taiwo Olagunju, said those banks that are in the forefront of the financial inclusion drive are the Tier 2 and Tier 3 banks and that little activities are seen from Tier 1 banks.
He said: “When last have you seen or heard banks like Zenith Bank or GTBank doing anything on financial inclusion? They seem not to be bothered. Financial inclusion is not all about internet banking; it is about taking banking to the doorstep of the unbanked in the rural areas.”
“The motive for financial inclusion is not for literate people in the urban areas, but for non-literate who live in the rural areas who are into one business or the other. If these banks put in the same efforts they put into the cashless policy drive, then financial inclusion will score high marks”.
Olagunju stressed that banks should not be ashamed of going to the rural areas to look for customers.
SPeaking in the same vein, Anor Anyanwu, former Executive Director with Mainstreet Bank, said some banks are doing their best in getting many unbanked people on board and that time is needed to achieve better result but added that a collective drive would have more significant result.
Managing Director of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, also added that financial inclusion is the key to unlock a better future for Nigerians irrespective of where they live.