The Financial Inclusion Gap.
The best way to describe financial inclusion is welcoming new members into an exclusive club or religious body and providing them with essentials like access, an onboarding session, and empowerment to be perpetual members of your exclusive club/body, the difficulty level usually progresses along each activity.
In Christian circles, even angels rejoice when a ‘soul has been won’ before the tougher phase – sanctification. In a nutshell, this is the reason why financial inclusion is sought, despite the argument that excluded persons are either poor or economically unproductive. “Financial exclusion is very much a symptom of poverty; as is a cause.” Financial inclusion is described by the World Bank as the provision of useful, relevant, and affordable financial services such as payments, credit, and insurance to the financially excluded including individuals and SMEs.
To understand financial exclusion better in the Nigerian context, think of the pop shop down the road, the “mallam” who is a gateman but sells low-value groceries through the window of room, or the smallholder farmer in Northern Nigeria or the woman who sells tomatoes at the open market in southwestern Nigeria.
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Written by: Joshua Okoduwa - Advisory Unit, KPMG Nigeria
and Nene Odiboh - Advisory Unit, KPMG Nigeria