Implications for Financial Education for Adults

The Nigerian adult population can be divided into two broad groups: those that are educated, live primarily in urban areas and are formally employed or run small to medium-sized business; and those in the rural areas that have no/little education and survive from remittances, subsistence farming and micro/survivalist enterprises:

1. The first group (Segments A, B and C) can be reached through the formal educational system, employee wellness programmes, seminars, formal financial institutions, mainstream media and the use of technology (computers and mobile phones), and they can also self-educate.

2.The focus of financial education for this group should be on second tier products, such as pension schemes, investment options (e.g. stocks and bonds), insurance (life, medical, short-term products) and mobile banking. They should also be made aware of their rights and responsibilities, and available recourse options. Formal financial institutions can play a major role in supporting financial education targeted at this group, for example, by funding seminars, editorials in newspapers and radio talk shows. Large employers (such as the government and big corporations) should be encouraged to introduce employee wellness programmes. Financial institutions should lead the way by introducing such programmes aimed at their own staff. Weekly newspaper inserts on personal financial management could be highly beneficial and it is recommended that journalists receive training on financial terms, products and services. Religious leaders should also be trained on personal financial management. Ideally they should refrain from providing financial advice, but could direct people to the appropriate institution for advice.

3.The second group (Segments D, E and F) have poor literacy levels, low levels of English proficiency, limited exposure to mainstream media (beyond radio), are mostly financially excluded or only informally included, and not easily reached at their places of work (subsistence farms and markets/street vendors). Innovative ways are required to reach these segments, such as face-to-face training of small groups, supplemented by radio and village road shows. A funding strategy will be required to fund financial education targeted at this group (possibly through a public-private-partnership) as this could be extremely costly to design and deliver. Development partners and other donors may also wish to support such initiatives, for example by funding the initial market research and design of content, translations into local languages and training of trainers. Government ministries and departments, donors and industry associations tasked with providing assistance to micro- and small enterprises and farmers, should be invited to support financial education targeting these market segments.

Their existing programmes and structures can also be utilized to facilitate financial education, for example, by embedding financial education content in existing training programmes – a costeffective way of achieving scale. The financial sector could also play a major role in facilitating financial education, particularly those with special programmes and products targeting MSMEs and small-scale farmers.

The focus of financial education for this group should be on basic budgeting, planning, saving and credit. In addressing credit, both the benefits and sources of productive credit (e.g. for agricultural and enterprise purposes), and the risks and pitfalls of credit – particularly consumer credit should be emphasized. While Segments D, E and F did not display much interest in learning more about mobile phone payments (this may well be because they know so little about it), rural communities could benefit much from using mobile phones to make payments.

These concepts should be introduced particularly to segments D and E, given that there is limited mobile phone usage in Segment F.

This group should also be made aware of their rights and responsibilities, and available recourse options. The impact of financial education will be limited for this group if suitable products are not available or accessible.

The financial sector should therefore be encouraged to introduce products such as simple savings accounts with no administrative fees, no minimum balances and positive returns on deposits; productive micro-credit for agriculture and MSMEs;

micro insurance and low-cost housing finance. Furthermore, the government, development partners and other donors could introduce crop insurance rather than subsidised credit.

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Ezeadichie Onyeka Michael is the Co-Founder of Haelsoft, a Professional Services Company in Nigeria that provides Information and Technology Services for small and big size companies in Nigeria(Africa). He is an Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist with Expertise in Web Technology and Digital Marketing. He has developed & Implemented Digital Marketing Strategies(Campaigns) for top brands across sectors in Finance, Telecommunication, Ecommerce who operate in the African market. His professional experience includes key roles at Google Business Group(Nigeria), Google Women on the Web (Nigeria), Edubridge Consultant and Wild Fusion where he has trained over 500 Entrepreneurs on how to use various Web Technology products to succeed online. Customer centricity, User Experience, Conversion optimization are 3 pronged framework he applies around the often-frenetic world of web analytics to ensure that clients stay competitive in the market. He believes that investing in talent is the key to long term success for brands across Nigeria (Africa).

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