Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Lagos Business School, Bill Gates foundation team up to improve financial services for the poor

Lagos Business School, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, has launched a research project to address the regulatory gaps and market structures disabling financial inclusion for poor unbanked Nigerians.

Nigeria is challenged to build the most vibrant and inclusive economy possible. By 2020, the plan is to have 80 percent of Nigerians financially served. Currently, the country stands at 60 percent coverage. There are numerous challenges to overcome if Nigeria is to meet its goal, at least 18 million new users of financial services must be signed on in the next four years.

Also speaking at the launch of the project, Kosta Peric, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation stated that the Foundation’s collaboration with LBS reflects the vision it has for Nigeria.

He said having an account or financial wallet is the first step for the poor unbanked population as the problem with cash is that you cannot have a history of your transactions.

“Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty”, he noted. “It seeks to ensure that all people, especially those with the fewest resources have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in life.

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