PiggyVest Boss Dissects The Importance Of Microfinance In Increasing Financial Inclusion In Nigeria
The COO and Co-Founder of PiggyVest, Odunayo Eweniyi, spoke about the importance of microfinance in achieving the national goal to increase financial inclusion to 95% of the Nigerian adult population by 2024 at the MoMo PSB Stakeholder Forum, held at Lagos Continental Hotel on May 17, 2023.
The Forum, themed “Addressing the Barriers to Financial Inclusion and Cashless Payment in Nigeria,” included guests from across different stakeholder groups in the Nigerian financial sectors.
According to a 2020 survey by the EFInA, only 27 percent of Nigerians are financially healthy while 39 percent are financially coping and 34 percent are financially vulnerable. This shows that there is still a long way to go.
During the panel discussion at the forum, Odunayo Eweniyi, spoke extensively about what financial inclusion is and isn’t. She emphasised the need to dumb-down complicated features to ensure that the unbanked can access financial services and understand how it operates before they can participate.
She said, “Financial inclusion for us, and for everyone, should be understanding the needs that people at the bottom of the pyramid have. We need to be asking these people who make $3 a day, and are living hand to mouth, “how do we help you make more money?” and “what product can we build to help you make more money?” We need to ask them, “how do we move you from earning $3 to $5 to $10?” When we answer those questions and then build for them, we can truly begin to understand what inclusion should be.”
Odunayo also spoke to the fact that to bridge the gap between the banked and unbanked, organisations need to deliver microfinance to the unbanked. She also emphasised that building in isolation from the target market never works and that conversations with the unbanked would aid the creation of the financial services that would meet their needs. She outlined
that in building useful financial products for the unbanked, the organisations would need to take the approach of understanding the market, building products based on the findings, marketing to the target audience and then teaching them how to use the solutions created.
In addition, the PiggyVest co-founder emphasised the need for infrastructural development and partnerships across the financial sector, the creation of affordable services, reviewing of banking policies and the inclusion of women as solutions to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Other speakers at the MoMo PSB Stakeholder Forum panel discussion were, the host and CEO of MoMo PSB, Eli Hini; Founding Partner, Future Africa, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji; Group Head, Digital Banking, UBA, Kayode Olubiyi; CEO of Unified Payments, Agada Apochi and MD of Fair Money, Henry Obiekea.