The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has lamented the low impact of commercial banks on Nigerians nothing that no fewer than 40% are still under-banked in the country.
The Vice President who spoke at the public presentation of a book in Abuja noted with dismay that majority of those who have bank accounts for a variety of reasons are not able to access personal loans, mortgage or business loans.
Noting that this explains why financial inclusion has gained inclusive currency and resonance in the past few years.
The under-banked population is said to be 40 percent, which means that a significant number do not even have access to banking facilities let alone banking products of any kind.
The Vice President lamented a situation where depositors give their hard-earned funds to the banks at single-digit interest rate but cannot get anything less than double-digits when they seek the same funds for their businesses or mortgages for homes.
He attributed the practice to the ambition of what seemed to be regular declarations of hefty profits by banks. He, however, advised banks to come up with financial products designed for low-income earners as well as for the SMEs in the country.
Recall that recently Deposit Money Banks began the disbursement of the more than ₦26 billion enterprise development intervention fund under the Agriculture and Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) by the Bankers’ Committee.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said the move was conceived to support artisans and increase their number, is targeted at creating about 100,000 jobs in the first quarter of this year.
In his words
“We are going to be disbursing small loans like N100,000; N200,000; and N500,000 at not more than five percent.”
The fund which is targeted at small businesses owned by “weak and vulnerable” entrepreneurs who cannot kick off their bankable projects due to funding include barbers, hairdressers and small agribusiness schemes.