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ATM shortage in Nigeria

Categories : Cash connects people, Cash is the first step of financial inclusion
February 22, 2017
In 2011, Nigeria announced its desire to move to a cashless society, the first step being to encourage people to open bank accounts. Yet, the initiative is struggling as the infrastructure fails to meet the needs.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

According to the Nigerian Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) the country is lacking at least 40,000 ATMs. This shortage makes it difficult for customers to access their money and is hindering the government’s efforts to encourage people to make deposits. Indeed, an initiative to go cashless was launched in 2011 to promote the use of banking services and to persuade Nigerians to stop carrying huge amounts of money or hiding it under the mattress. Unfortunately, these effort cannot succeed if the infrastructure is unable to follow suit. 

17,253 ATMs are currently available to 18 million citizens, but there are often failures, attacks and network outages. As a result, Nigerians have to queue for hours to get cash, a situation that might lead them to prefer keeping banknotes at home rather than in a bank account. Despite these difficulties, the withdrawal rates remain high – 3.5 trillion naira ($11.13 billion) between January and September 2016.

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