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New 35m bank customers in 2 years via SANEF dependent on broadband access—BHIU
A report released by Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU), a research based division of Business Hilights Publications in Nigeria, has revealed that “To the extent of being a world class platform to deepen financial inclusion across the 774 local government areas of the country, challenges bordering on broadband accessibility, affordability and functionality will determine the success of the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF)”.
The scheme, which is an initiative of the Bankers Committee, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), is already yielding results as several Mobile Money Operators (MNO) and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) have fully bought into it.
The report said “However, there is urgent need to fast track delivery of broadband infrastructure across every state so as to serve as the backbone of the SANEF on operational takeoff”
“The proponents of the scheme need to first of all, determine the readiness of telecoms networks across the 774 local governments before deploying agents as the scarcity of data in the operations of businesses like this can collapse efforts or make the target growth in uptakes very costly and ineffective.
Business Hilights gathered that already, under the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF), no less than 500,000 agent networks will be created across the country, to facilitate the achievement of the set goals of capturing over 35 million in the national financial inclusion basket within the first two year.
Primary advantages of the scheme according to experts include the creation of jobs for the agents, becoming an effective approach to reaching millions of the unbanked in the rural areas and boosting speed to digital inclusion in the process.
Besides, government is boosting the agents’ moral with an incentive of about N100 commission for every new identity registered under the Bank Verification Number (BVN).
The BHIU report argued that the chances of the target two minutes registration span by the agents can only be feasible on the robust availability and affordability of data within the environment or every SANEF agent.
In an interview, a member of the Technical Committee of the Bankers Committee on SANEF initiative, Bolaji Lawal, said the agents would be deployed at all the 774 local councils, experience centres of telecommunications companies and markets.
He revealed that presently, there are more than 70,000 access points in the country, three mobile money operators, six super agents and a target of between 100,000 and 150,000 agents network in the third and fourth quarter of 2018.