Women are better savers than men, says EFInA
The Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), in its latest report report, has said that there is enough research now to support the argument that women are better savers than men.
Pointing out that they are better planners for their families’ future needs, it lamented that globally, women are less likely than men to have a bank account and are underrepresented generally among the financially included adult population.
As part of EFInA efforts in promoting financial inclusion and facilitating the emergence of an all-inclusive and growth promoting financial system in Nigeria, EFInA hosted its 10th Agent Network Breakfast Series meeting in Lagos, last week.
The forum is a platform organised to provide credible market information to stakeholders; discuss obstacles to the deployment of ubiquitous agent networks in Nigeria, highlight regulatory obstacles and opportunities to move the industry to the next level.
This year’s edition focused on the topic ‘Assessment of Female Financial Service Agents in Driving Financial Inclusion in Nigeria’
According to the report, while 55.9 per cent of the financially excluded adults are female, many studies have revealed the importance of Agent Network in driving access to financial services, especially at the last mile, to enroll these women.
In order to drive the deployment of widespread Agent Networks in Nigeria and close the gender gap in financial access, there is need to encourage more participation of women in agent banking.
Studies have also shown that enlisting female agents may be the most effective way to overcome low literacy rate amongst the last mile across the country and build women’s confidence and trust in using financial services.
The objective of the event is to trigger conversation and initiatives that will encourage more participation of women in Agent banking, especially in Northern Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer of EFInA, Esaie Diei, emphasised the role female agents will have on Financial Inclusion based on their reach in the local markets, schools, churches, mosques and the direct impact it will have on including the excluded youths who are their children.
He added that EFInA will be willing to support stakeholders in the process of developing and implementing their strategy for female agents whilst encouraging stakeholders to implement the lessons learned and develop strategy for female agent at organisational level.
The Programme Specialist, Agent Networks at EFInA, Henry Chukwu, who made a presentation on Assessing the Impact of Female Agents in Driving Financial Inclusion, highlighted gender gaps in financial access in Nigeria and other markets, gender dynamics in agent banking, the business case for female agents, factors influencing better representation of women in agent banking and considerations for formulating strategy for female agents.
He noted that women participation in agency business is one of the ways to reduce gender gaps in financial access.
The Head, Distribution and Engagement at Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF), Mrs. Uche Ben-Uzoebo, also shared information on initiatives that have been put in place to support Agent Network Providers in on-boarding agents.
She mentioned that part of SANEF’s plan is to introduce basic products and special accounts with benefits designed to attract the unbanked.