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Thursday, August 11, 2022

#Over 5m Nigerians Abandon Bank Accounts As Economy Bites Harder

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No fewer than five million Nigerians have abandoned their bank accounts due to the tough economic situation in the country.

This is according to the latest fact sheet data published by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Electronic payment, the total number of inactive bank accounts stood at 57.9 million in 2021.

This is a rise of over five million or 11 per cent when compared to 52.2 million in 2020 inactive accounts.

The numbers are expected to grow further as Nigerians continue to battle the rising price of goods and services.

According to a report by Picodi, an international e-commerce company, the price of essential foodstuff requirement for one adult stood at N40,980 Naira. This is above the N30,000 minimum wage.

In fact, seven states are yet to implement the minimum wage, meaning several Nigerians are being paid below N30,000.

Recently, President BCAN, Dr. Uju Ogubunka, listed the drivers of inactive accounts in the banks to include the increase in the prices of goods and services, low income accompanied by the low purchasing power of Nigerians, increasing rate of unemployment and immigration, among other things

He noted that if the economy fails to recover the banks should expect more inactive bank accounts by end of 2022 adding that such development would hinder the country in achieving its financial inclusion target.

He stated: “The rise in inactive bank accounts is a product of what is happening in the economy. You don’t run a bank account when you don’t have income. The rate of unemployment has increased making it impossible for some people to fund their bank accounts. Inflation rate is also rising which is also a factor making people spend more without having anything left to save or even send.

“If the income capacity of people increases and they have surplus after settling expenses, then they can go to the bank.

‘‘If there is no improvement in the source of income of people and the economy we should expect more inactive bank accounts by the end of 2022. If such occurs, it will drag back the financial inclusion goal,” he said.

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