Agent networks across Nigeria has increased by 313% in the last 18 months to 345,000 – Ronke Kuye

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Ronke Kuye //Chief Executive Officer, SANEF
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The total number of agent networks across Nigeria has increased by 313% in the last 18 months to 345,000 as at the end of May 2020.

This was disclosed by Ronke Kuye (Chief Executive Officer, SANEF) at the just concluded webinar organized by SANEF in partnership with NIBSS and Business Day, with the theme: Accelerating Financial Inclusion Through Collaboration.


The virtual event which had Mrs Aishah Ahmad (Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria) as the special guest and Segun Agbaje (MD/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc) as the keynote speaker, was moderated by Lehle Balde (Senior Associate, Strategy Innovation & Partnerships, Business Day) and had seasoned panellists that comprised of Toyin Adeniji (Executive Director, Microenterprises, Bank of Industry), Dr. Paul Oluikpe (Associate Head, Financial Inclusion Secretariat, CBN), Robert Giles (Senior Banking Advisor, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc), Degbola Abudu, MD/CEO, Capricorn Digital), Anup Singh (Partner, Microsave Consulting), Titilola Shogaolu (Divisional CEO, Interswitch Financial Inclusion Services) and Isa Omagu (Director, Marketing and Sales, Unified Payments).

In a detailed presentation on the major achievements of SANEF and the journey ahead, Ronke Kuye highlighted the vision of SANEF to bring financial services closer to every Nigerian and the aim to increase economic opportunities by bringing 30 million low income un-banked and under-served Nigerians into the financial system, enabling them to make payments, access credit invest and save – affordably, reliably and easily.

Highlighting the core focus areas of SANEF to include Agent network expansion, Stakeholder Collaboration, Financial products and services, Financial literacy and awareness, Technology solutions, Account opening / BVN enrolment and Policy recommendations, she stated that the set target was to achieve agent network of 500,000, unique bank accounts of 70 million and National financial inclusion of 80%. The last EFInA report on financial inclusion as at December 2018, puts the inclusion rate at 63%.

According to Ronke Kuye, some of the major milestones and tractions accomplished by SANEF thus far include: boosting financial literacy and building capacity amongst agents – resulting in boost in transactions, raising brand awareness, rolling out enabling technology for account opening and dispute resolution, working with regulators to enhance the sustainability of agent banking to achieve favourable policies and pricing and most importantly, increasing agent networks and financial access points across Nigeria to 345,000 agents representing about 313% growth as at the end of May 2020.

On Agent distribution, Ronke Kuye affirmed that agents are present in all 774 LGAs across Nigeria, with 31% (241) of the LGAs having above 100 agents per 100,000 adult population and 28 states having above 100 agents per 100,000 adult population. Across the six geo-political zones, the South West region has the highest number of 124,823 agents (with Lagos alone accounting for about 72,000) and the North East the lowest, with 27,600 agents. The other zones: North-West, North-Central, South-South and South-East have 59,677, 54,786, 46,932 and 31,176 agents respectively.

Underscoring the importance of collaboration, Ronke Kuye stated that, “Working with our partners we have engaged stakeholders, boosted financial literacy and are lowering barriers to inclusion”.

On the impact of COVID-19, Ronke Kuye stated that the pandemic accelerated the willingness of the unbanked to try digital options and amplified the role of agents in driving this transition, which resulted to the following marked increase: 859% more agent transactions between March and April 2020, 228% increase in BVN enrolment between May and June 2020 and 288% increase in account opening between the Quarters.

On the tasks ahead of SANEF, Ronke Kuye highted the following as core areas of focus: achieving agent roll-out target of 500,000, boosting account opening and BVN Enrolment to achieve target, enhancing availability of more financial products at agent locations, increasing number of transactions at agent locations, advocating for sustainability of agent banking business model, supporting financial literacy and campaign awareness for financial inclusion, continuing to enhance technology to services provided at agent locations, facilitating seamless dispute resolution for good customer experience and continuously drive favourable policies and pricing.


SANEF is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), owned by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and supported by Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) and Licensed Mobile Money Operators/Shared Agents through collaboration with all stakeholders in widening and deepening financial access points and services with the objective of accelerating financial inclusion in Nigeria.

© Regtech Africa 2020

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