According to the World Bank, the number of Nigerians holding accounts at regulated institutions such as banks, credit unions, microfinance institutions, post offices, or mobile money service providers climbed by 16% in 2021 to 45%.
According to the worldwide bank, global account ownership climbed by 50% from 51% in 2011 to 76% in 2021.
Account ownership in Nigeria increased from 30% to 45% over the time.
This was announced in the bank’s paper, “The Global Findex Database 2021: Financial Inclusion, Digital Payments, and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19.” According to the report, overall account ownership in emerging economies increased by 30 percentage points, rising from 42% in 2011 to 50% now.
It stated, “Individual economies saw different rates of growth over the past decade. Between 2011 and 2021, economies such as Peru, South Africa, and Uganda drove up the average with account ownership increases of 25 percentage points or more.
“Uganda saw its rate more than triple, from 20 per cent to 66 per cent. In India, account ownership more than doubled in the past decade, from 35 per cent in 2011 to 78 per cent in 2021. This outcome stemmed in part from an Indian government policy launched in 2014 that leveraged biometric identification cards to boost account ownership among unbanked adults.
“Other economies saw much smaller increases over longer periods. Pakistan, for example, grew by just 10 percentage points over the past decade, from 10 per cent in 2011 to 21 per cent in 2021. The Arab Republic of Egypt and Nigeria increased ownership by 18 percentage points and 16 percentage points, respectively—from 10 per cent to 27 per cent in Egypt, and from 30 per cent to 45 per cent in Nigeria.”
According to the Washington-based lender, account ownership is a vital metric of financial inclusion and serves as a doorway for men and women to use financial services in a way that promotes development.
Owners of accounts, whether with a bank or a regulated organization such as a credit union, microfinance institution, or mobile money service provider, were able to keep, transfer, and receive money, allowing people to invest in health, education, and companies, according to the report.
According to the lender, it is more difficult for account holders to fall into poverty since, in the case of a financial emergency, they may quickly rely on savings or obtain financial resources from friends or family.
The global bank further said the growth in account ownership in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African nations was because of the adoption of mobile money.
It stated, “In Sub-Saharan Africa in 2021, 55 per cent of adults had an account, including 33 per cent of adults who had a mobile money account—the largest share of any region in the world and more than three times larger than the 10 per cent global average of mobile money account ownership.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is home to all 11 economies in which a larger share of adults-only had a mobile money account rather than a bank or other financial institution account. The spread of mobile money accounts has created new opportunities to better serve women, poor people, and other groups who traditionally have been excluded from the formal financial system.”