EFInA hosted its ninth breakfast series event in October 2018 to disseminate key findings of its research study titled “The Factors and Trends Influencing Agent Networks in Nigeria”. The overall objective of the study is to provide credible market information for financial services stakeholders to drive the growth and development of Agent networks in Nigeria. The study highlighted some regulatory factors affecting agents operation as well as some stakeholders view points on the factors that may be impeding the growth of Agent Networks in Nigeria. It also provided information on consumer protection issues that cut across agents’ operation in Nigeria.
Henry Chukwu, Programme Specialist, Agent Networks at EFInA shared key findings from the study. He noted that Agent Network development has been slow in Nigeria despite industry advancements and the market potential and stated some critical success factors in scaling up Agent Networks that are practiced in leading markets. He also shared some agent networks inhibitors, enablers & trends in other landscapes and some lessons that can be incorporated into the Nigerian market. The Study revealed that in emerging markets, there were well over 2.9 million agents and 690 million registered customer accounts worldwide. The industry now processes a billion dollars in transactions a day and generated direct revenues of over USD 2.4 billion, largely from agents performing cash-in and cash-out (CICO) transactions as of December 2017.
The key findings from the study also stressed the need for operators to establish a strong business case for the deployment of Agent Networks. Henry shared some key financial projections for agent deployment as a huge requirement for sustainability.
Mrs. Christabel Onyejekwe, Executive Director at Nigeria Interbank Settlement (NIBSS) shared updates from the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF), an initiative that targets aggressive roll out of 500,000 financial services agents in 2 years to offer basic financial services. The initiative aimed to drive financial inclusion by on-boarding 40 million low income and unserved Nigerians into the financial system. She shared the roles of NIBSS in supporting SANEF and the requirements to drive the initiative.