Increasing access to financial services and therefore¬†enhancing financial inclusion, especially for those in the poorest segment of society has been proven to be a key driver in economic growth and wealth creation. Nigeria must reduce financial exclusion as part of a holistic approach to development. The benefits, for those at the base of the pyramid, as well as for the nation, could be very significant.
One of the key mechanisms for enhancing access to financial services is to create a strong, vibrant and well regulated microfinance sub-sector. The Central Bank of Nigeria launched its Microfinance Policy and Framework in December 2005 and since then there has been a proliferation of microfinance banks, with over 900 licensed¬†banks nationwide. The challenge is how to ensure that these microfinance banks are delivering value to the lowest income segments of society.¬†
Making Microfinance Work: Managing product diversification
In September 2010, EFInA co-sponsored 18 participants from microfinance banks and institutions to attend the International Labour Organization ‚ÄėMaking Microfinance Work: Managing Product Diversification‚Äô program, which was part of the Development Alternatives and Resource Centre‚Äôs Support and Technical Assistance program for promoting microfinance. This program was co-financed by the European Commission. Sponsored participants were from 8 different States. The program was endorsed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as supporting the development of the microfinance sub-sector in Nigeria. The participants learned how to refine and/or develop new products for maximum impact.
Participants at the Making Microfinance Work: Managing Product Diversification