Nigerians bury cash in backyards as mobile banking stumbles

NIGERIA- There is a growing trend where Nigerians are burying cash in their backyard, Tasiu Abdurrahman  is one of them, takes the money he makes from selling spices in Nigeria’s biggest northern city and buries it in his yard.

Aadburrahman, 55 year old closed his bank account eight years ago after finding it hard to stand in queues for hours to withdraw cash and depositing cash.

Despite being the Africa’s largest economy and mobile-phone market many Nigerians still do not have bank accounts.

“My business partners need cash,” said Abdurrahman as he juggled two mobile phones at his ginger and tamarind stand, one of many dotting the streets in Kano. “If they all opened bank accounts, I would be happy to.”

The Central Bank in Nigeria said earlier this month that they will not reach their target of of financial increase 80% by 2020.

According to the World Bank less than 6% of Nigerians use their handsets to transact using mobile money, compared with 73% of Kenyans, where more than two-thirds of adults have a bank account. That’s even though there are more than two phones for every bank account in the West African nation.

“We’re taking baby steps when we should be running,” Yomi Ibosiola, an associate director at Deloitte Nigeria’s data analytics practice, said.

“Right now, we’re only providing a platform for some people to use, if it becomes our business, we will invest in it,” Oparah said. The government should adjust its policies “if it wants to move very quickly.”

“When you open an account on your mobile, you can receive money but you cannot make payments,” Joshua said. “You need a Bank Verification Number to make transactions on that account you opened on mobile. Since the targets for financial inclusion are people that don’t have BVN already, some infrastructure needs to be deployed, like mobile BVN.”

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