Funds secured to drive Nigeria financial inclusion
From OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – ENHANCING Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) has released an Innovation Grant of US$1,5 million (N423,7 million) to Diamond Bank in a bid to deliver financial inclusion to unbanked individuals in Nigeria.
The bank is driving its programme through Diamond Y’ello, a mobile-based savings account it launched in partnership with MTN.
The EFInA Innovation Grant will enable Diamond Bank target and extend facilities to prospective customers in Northern Nigeria – Borno, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi and Kwara States.
The Chief Executive Officer of EFInA, Chidinma Lawanson, said the Diamond Y’ello Account project aimed to drive financial inclusion by addressing the barrier of proximity to financial services through digital financial services and agent banking, while also serving as an effective means of deepening financial literacy nationally.
This aligns with EFInA’s objectives to increase access to financial products and services to the low income population, especially women.
According to the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey, the North East and North West geopolitical zones have more financially excluded people than the other geopolitical zones.
“In that regard, we look forward to our partnership with Diamond Bank to extend financial services in Northern Nigeria,” said Lawanson.
Uzoma Dozie, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Plc, said Diamond Y’ello was structured to make affordable financial services available to everyone regardless of their level of income.
“Diamond Y’ello is an account you open without the documentation and other rigors associated with traditional accounts. We are aware that the future of financial inclusion is digital, and we aim to use this product to bring banking to everyone no matter your income, where you live or the type of mobile handset you are using.”
Established in late 2007, EFInA’smission is to make the Nigerian financial system work better especially for the poor. EFInA achieves its mission through four pillars; Research, Innovation Fund, Advocacy and Capacity Building.
EFInA is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
– CAJ News
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