A total of 1.7 billion adults are unbanked globally out of which more than 60 million Nigerians are without bank accounts.
This is according to 2017 World Bank Global Findex Database report on financial inclusion titled, “The Global Findex Database 2017: Measuring Financial Inclusion and the Fintech Revolution” .
The World Bank report revealed that globally, 1.7 billion adults don’t use formal banks or semi-formal microfinance institutions to save or borrow money, even though more than half that number could access digital financial services.
The report which is a collation of data from a survey carried out in 144 countries, in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gallup Inc., observed that 82 million (42 per cent) Nigerians are living below $1.90 per day, implying that 42 per cent of Nigerians probably don’t own an account, or have inactive ones.
Nigeria was declared the world poverty capital last year, with almost half of its population living in extreme poverty. A recent Bio-metric Verification Number exercise in 2015 in Nigeria, which resulted in many bank accounts going inactive, also contributed to Nigeria’s 67 million unbanked population.
The World Bank Global Findex noted that 40 per cent more men own accounts than women in Nigeria, meaning there has been no clear change in financial inclusion in Nigeria since the last Findex report was released in 2014.
Other developing economies like Togo, Peru, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Burkina Faso also have wide gender gaps in financial inclusion. Other developing economies [India, Bolivia] have moved in the opposite direction as gender gaps have been steadily closing since 2014.