No bank accounts for 70m active mobile phone line owners

About 70 million active mobile line owners in Nigeria do not have bank accounts, the Chief Executive Officer of eTranzact International Plc., Mr Niyi Toluwalope, has said.

Toluwalope made the disclosure at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigerian (CAMCAN) 2021 Annual Workshop held on Saturday in Lagos.

The eTranzact boss said that 150 million of Nigeria’s 200 million population  owned mobile phone lines, 110 million owned 150 million mobile phone lines but only about 40 million had active bank verification numbers.

Toluwalope said that there was the need to close the gap, especially as regards small and medium enterprises.

He spoke on: “Technology as a Tool for Financial Inclusion in Nigeria: A Fintech Approach”.

He said  that  financial inclusion was important to the capital market industry.

According to Toluwalope, financial inclusion is an important component for enabling growth.

He said: “Financial inclusion holds the answers to how we increase the participation of retail investors, how we encourage more homegrown businesses,  leverage the capital market for growth and the informal sector participation in the capital market.

“The role of technology cannot be overemphasised.

“Over the past few years, technology has allowed more people to gain access to financial services, and that has increased by default, the customer base of capital market operators.

“Essentially, the rise of digital financial services means growth for the capital market.”

Toluwalope said that  utilisation of technology would democratise capital market access and participation.

“We can directly expand the current digital savings and investments offerings to leverage the capital market for increased returns,” he said.

He added that for financial inclusion to thrive, the sector would need collaboration of players in the private and public sectors.

He noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria as well the  Securites and Exchange Commission (SEC) had taken a number of steps to drive financial inclusion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop had a panel session during which  representatives of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd., FMDQ Exchange, SEC and stockbrokers pledged to continue to fashion out ways to tackle ponzi scheme activities.

The workshop was sponsored by Flour Mills of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, NGX, FMDQ and SEC, among other organisations.