The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a grant agreement for $500,000 with Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS), a fintech subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, for a study on economic, religious, and social factors hampering access to finance for women in northern Nigeria.
A statement said the pact, which was signed in Abuja, would have the research focus on both agents and customers to provide insights into women’s use of mobile money services and will be funded through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI).
Despite being the continent’s largest economy, 55% of rural Nigerians still lack access to financial services with the rate of mobile money adoption currently at four per cent and an agent ratio of 228.8 agents per 1,000 adults, the statement noted.
It also added that 80% of agents in the region are men.
Commenting, AfDB Director of Financial Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby, said: “The AfDB through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), is delighted to support this project, furthering our work to improve the quality of life for people in Nigeria and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly as relates to poverty, and gender inclusion.”
Chief Executive Officer, YDFS, Usoro Usoro, said: “We are truly excited about this partnership with the African Development Bank, and the possibilities for advancing financial inclusion in Nigeria, particularly for the traditionally excluded segment of women in Northern Nigeria.”