MTN, Glo, others rollout plans to deepen financial inclusion with 90m new customers

Mobile operators in Nigeria have unveiled new plans towards increasing financial inclusion in the country with additional 90 million new customers in the next 30 months.

The operators such as: MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile have said that if given a level playing ground to perform mobile money functions, they could significantly reduce the country’s financial exclusion rates of about 41.6 percent to 20 percent.

In Nigeria, Telcos are excluded from accessing mobile money licences directly under current guidelines while in most sub-Saharan African markets, mobile money is successful.

The General Manager of Mobile Financial Services at MTN Nigeria, Mr. Usoro Usoro, explained recently that to achieve the set target, the companies were planning to leverage on already existing customer base, recognized brands and distribution network.

Usoro pointed out that telcos should be allowed to effectively drive mobile penetration in the country, stressing that the absence of a level playing field is one of the factors inhibiting mobile money in Nigeria.

He cited countries like Kenya, Ghana and Ivory Coast as places with high rates of mobile money insisting that they are doing well because the laws in those markets allow operators to function under a conducive environment.

In his words: “With a combined customer base of over 160 million and our trusted and recognized brands, Telcos can easily upsell financial services to this existing base of customers, with a good percentage of them currently classified as unbanked”

“We also intend to leverage our combined distribution network of over 1 million agents, present in all 774 local government areas in the country; to provide financial services to the last mile, supported with massive educational campaigns required to appropriately educate and promote the basic services required to drive adoption, such local and international transfer services, micro-loans and bill payments”

From the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), as at the end of the second quarter in 2018, MTN Nigeria had active voice subscribers of 66.4 million followed by Glo with 39.8 million while Airtel and 9mobile had 39.7 million and 16 million respectively.


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