The National Financial Inclusion Steering Committee headed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will host Nigeria’s maiden International Financial Inclusion Conference (IFIC’22) on the 24th and 25th of November 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria. Themed “Financial Inclusion for all: Scaling Innovative Digital Models”, the conference is the first to be held since the country launched its National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in 2012.
The NFIS set the target for financial inclusion in Nigeria at 80.0% by 2020. Since its launch, advancements have been recorded in financial inclusion, resulting in the exclusion rate dropping from 46.3% in 2010 to 35.9% in 2020 (despite significant annual growth in the eligible bankable population per annum) according to the Access to Financial Services Survey conducted by EFINA. The national target for inclusion has since been revised to 95% by 2024.
This progress has been possible due to significant evolution of the Nigerian payments and financial system driven by rapid technological innovation, emergence of a vibrant digital economy and the proactive regulatory policies of the CBN and other policymakers. The ever-increasing diversity of participants, products and services deployed within the financial ecosystem presents unique opportunities to fast-track the expansion of financial inclusion to a greater number of Nigerians, closing the inclusion gaps in selected segments such as the youth, rural dwellers and women.
Speaking about IFIC’22, Chair of the National Financial Inclusion Steering Committee and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin I. Emefiele said, “We are excited to host the maiden International Financial Inclusion Conference in Nigeria. The conference presents a unique opportunity to showcase our financial inclusion journey, particularly the innovative use cases that continue to emerge within the dynamic payments and financial system in the country. These will be important as we work to ensure 95% of Nigerians are financially included by 2024.
“The conference also creates a platform to spotlight other country experiences, the role of policy innovation, digital technology and out- of-the-box approaches in tackling exclusion in underserved segments, and the strategic importance of public-private partnerships to promote digital financial services and economic sustainability.”
The International Financial Inclusion Conference 2022 therefore, brings together delegates, experts and speakers across the world to examine the opportunities, identifying concrete solutions and interventions that would ensure achievement of the nation’s financial inclusion objectives.
Distinguished personalities expected at the conference include President Muhammad’s Buhari, GCFR, (Special Guest of Honour), Godwin I Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Prof Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy amongst others.
Policymakers delivering keynotes include Mrs Elsie Addo- Awadzi, Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana, Ambassador Chad Blackman, Special Adviser to the President, International Labour Organization (ILO), Dr Alfred Hannig, Executive Director, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and Mrs Aishah. N Ahmad, CFA, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, amongst others. Other speakers include Mr
Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO Access Holdco Plc, Ms Anna Wallace, Senior Programme
Office, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ms Inez Murray, CEO Financial Alliance
for Women, Ms Gail Makenete, fmr Deputy Governor Central Bank of Lesotho & Chair Expert Leaders Group of the Graca Machel Trust, Mr Mike Ogbalu III, CEO PAPSS and Professor Olayinka David-West, Associate Dean Lagos Business School amongst others.
The conference will feature the launch of the revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy, the Nigeria Financial Services Maps (NFS Maps), the Women Agent Framework, the National Fintech Strategy and the Payment System Vision 2025. It will also present the Innovation Labs exhibition highlighting innovative products and solutions and the Financial Inclusion Awards which recognizes stakeholders who have contributed to tackling exclusion and the advancement of financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Through IFIC’22 Nigeria leads an important global conversation on the journey to closing the financial inclusion gap for the last mile in Sub-Saharan Africa and globally.