BrandArena: Financial Inclusion: A Catalyst for Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth, Says 9PSB CEO

Monday 27 May 2024

Financial Inclusion: A Catalyst for Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth, Says 9PSB CEO

9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), Nigeria's leading digital payment service provider, emphasised the critical role of financial inclusion in alleviating poverty and promoting economic prosperity in Africa during the recent Regtech Africa Conference in Lagos.

The conference, themed "Harnessing Partnerships for Africa’s Prosperity – Bridging the Data Trust Gap," brought together financial experts and thought leaders from across the continent to discuss strategies for enhancing data trust in digital financial services.

In her keynote address, Branka Mracajac, Managing Director and CEO of 9PSB, emphasized the pivotal importance of financial inclusion in Nigeria and Africa. She highlighted that financial inclusion is essential for reducing poverty and fostering economic growth. Mracajac called on industry players to actively work towards making financial products and services accessible, affordable, and available to all unbanked and underserved individuals and businesses, irrespective of age, gender, location, or socioeconomic status. She also stressed the importance of financial literacy programs and the provision of tools like savings accounts and various payment options to integrate people into the formal financial system.

“A survey conducted in Nigeria in 2008 by EFinA revealed that about 53 per cent of adults were excluded from financial services, furthermore, financial inclusion as a vehicle for economic development has had a notable positive impact in Nigeria, it decreased the exclusion rate from the initial 53 per cent of about 40 million of adults to 36 per cent which today means about 29 million of adult Nigerians. 59 per cent of households in Nigeria are income providers, while most of the income providers are women, unfortunately, they are the ones that are mostly excluded from formal financial services, since Nigeria has about 26 per cent of adult Nigerians are financially excluded, and the target for this year as mandated by the Central Bank of Nigeria is to attain 25 per cent inclusion figure,” Mracajac added.

‘As we strive to grow financial inclusion, lack of access to financial services, low financial literacy among the populace, the prohibitive cost of financial services and lack of trust in financial institutions are standing as roadblocks. Therefore, stakeholders and various industry players should begin to adopt localization of financial literacy and education, reduce the minimal cost of accessibility for the people, and simplify products, and processes,” she remarked.

The 2024 RegTech Africa Conference had a line-up of stellar speakers, case studies, panel discussions, engaging discussions, unique presentations providing access to a wealth of industry-leading knowledge, sharing best practices and experiences, spotlighting trends, information exchange, cutting-edge insights, and outlooks with actionable takeaways.

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