The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria’s central banking authority, has introduced plans to encourage an agent-banking system in the country. The plan includes a know-your-customer (KYC) system with account opening requirements for low-level and low risk accounts that “are subject to caps and restrictions as the amount of transaction increases.” The plan allows Nigerian citizens who otherwise cannot access financial services to create accounts with lower documentation requirements if their average monthly deposits do not exceed the local currency equivalent of USD 111. Documentation requirements increase in steps for accounts involving cash at larger multiples of the local currency equivalent of USD 111.
Agent-banking allows customers to access financial services outside of bank branches such as at point-of-sale terminals in retail stores.
By Brett Cohen, Research Associate
About the Central Bank of Nigeria
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was established in 1958 as Nigeria’s central banking authority. As defined by the Act of Parliament that created CBN, its statutory mandates are as follows: “to issue legal tender currency; to maintain external reserves; to safeguard the international value of the legal tender currency; to promote monetary stability and a sound financial system in Nigeria; and to act as banker and financial adviser to the Federal Government.” As of November 2011, CBN reports total assets of NGN 9.77 trillion (USD 61.9 billion).
Sources and Additional Resources
Thisdaylive.com story: “CBN Set to Introduce Agent Banking”
MicroCapital.org paper wrap-up, April 25, 2012: “MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Agent Banking in Latin America,” by the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) of Mexico and Celina Lee, published by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion”
MicroCapital.org story, May 28, 2012: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Financial Inclusion Strategy Includes Goal of 63m Savings Accounts by 2020”
MicroCapital.org story, May 18, 2012: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN): MSME Development Fund Not for Bailing out Microfinance Banks”
MicroCapital.org Universe Profile: Central Bank of Nigeria
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