Nigeria's youth drives future of banking industry - CNBC Africa

Nigeria's youth drives future of banking industry

Western Africa

by Dara Rhodes 0

Nigerian banks are now more than ever encouraging youth banking. PHOTO: Getty images.

The country's youth account for over 43 per cent of its estimated 169 million people.

Nigeria has been projected as one of the few countries in the world that will have a magnanimous youth population by 2030 projecting that the youth have the potential to become Nigeria’s most valuable asset.

“Banks have had to adapt and simply because as you know, the Nigerian population is very youth focused where you have 80 per cent of the working population under the age of 33,” Olumide Akindele, head of consumer baking at Diamond Bank, told CNBC Africa.

Nigerian banks are beginning to realise the huge untapped market the youth present and are willing to take advantage of it now more than ever as various banks in the country are increasing efforts to encourage youth banking.

“What has happened is that the banks are having to look at the new pool of consumers coming in so most banks have had to look at that market as a very serious space they want to play in and move away from the traditional way of banking,” he said.

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Nonetheless, Akindele believes that the youth market is a very difficult and challenging space because banks have not traditionally looked at that area of the market and are having to grapple with the changing dimensions in terms of social media and communication.

(READ MORE: Is online shopping the next big trend for Nigeria?)

“Banks are beginning to try to find a way of how they can service this market and so we are in the early stage where most banks are looking to develop their propositions or their solutions to attract the market.”

As young people are the next generation of potentially productive economic and political leaders, they are the key to the development of any industry and economy and must therefore not be ignored.

“At the moment, I think most banks are trying to engage the youth and engage the different types of needs that these youth might have whether social media or music or anything that leads to the lifestyle of most youths,” he concluded.

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