Telecom Operators Set To Expand Financial Inclusion …Target 90m Nigerians

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Nigeria’s largest GSM operators, Glo, 9Mobile, Airtel & MTN Nigeria are to expand financial inclusion to 90 million Nigerians by 2020.
Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Mr Gbenga Adebayo, made this known to newsmen in Lagos, Thursday.
According to him, the operators came together recently to clearly articulate their commitment to deepening financial inclusion and providing Nigerians with access to a range of affordable financial services.
He said that the operators equally called for a level-playing field for mobile network operators to be allowed to participate fully in the Mobile Money industry.
Adebayo listed the commitment of the industry to include materially-improved financial inclusion rates and to deliver access to financial services to 90 million customers over the next 30 months.
He said that by the sixth month, the Telco’s planned to bring access to financial services to 15 million customers, serviced by 100,000 agents.
Adebayo said that by the 12th month, the operators would bring access to financial services to 35 million Nigerians serviced by 250,000 agents.
According to him, by the 24th month, we will bring access to financial services to 70 million Nigerians, serviced by 600,000 agents.
He added that by the 30th month deadline, the mobile network operators would be committed to bringing access to financial services to 90 million customers, also serviced by 600,000 agents.
Adebayo said that following the issuance of Nigeria’s first mobile money licences in 2009, the journey toward financial inclusion had been slow, as current financial exclusion level stood at over 40 per cent.
“There is a significant gap to be covered in order to meet Nigeria’s target of 20 per cent financial exclusion by 2020.
“In Nigeria, Telco’s are excluded from accessing mobile money licences directly under current guidelines, while in most sub-saharan African markets where mobile money is successful, Telco’s are given a level-playing field,” he said in a statement.
Adebayo said: “According to Mckinsey, as a direct result of increasing financial inclusion rates, Nigeria could realise as much as a 12.4 per cent boost in Gross Domestic Product.”
He said that this would lead to creation of three million new jobs; $2 billion reduction in government leakages and $57 billion new credits for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises over a four-year period.