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CRC Credit Bureau drives credit access in Nigeria to 14%



CRC Credit Bureau drives credit access in Nigeria to 14%

CRC Credit Bureau drives credit access in Nigeria to 14%

In a significant development for Nigeria’s financial sector, CRC Credit Bureau Limited has announced that credit penetration in the country has reached 14%. This growth, while notable, remains below global expectations. The announcement was made during the CRC Finance and Credit Conference 2024 in Lagos, marking the company’s 15th anniversary.

Event and Milestone
Themed “Sustainable Financing Options: Innovations in Credit Risk Management,” the conference highlighted CRC Credit Bureau’s role in enhancing credit access in Nigeria. Dr. Tunde Popoola, the Group Managing Director/CEO of CRC Credit Bureau, expressed satisfaction with the progress made over the past 15 years, despite acknowledging the gap compared to global standards.

Credit Penetration Achievements
Dr. Popoola revealed that 33 million Nigerians now have credit scores in CRC Credit Bureau’s database. In 2023 alone, 29.4 million credit searches were conducted, with over 10 million searches recorded in the first quarter of 2024. This reflects a growing reliance on CRC’s services by lenders across the country.

“Today, millions of Nigerians can secure loans via their phones, thanks to the data and services provided by CRC. From just one product in 2010, we now offer 18 products across various lending value chains,” Dr. Popoola noted. He credited the Credit Reporting Act of 2017 and support from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the advancements in credit access.

Economic Context and Challenges
Joel Owoade, Chairman of CRC’s Board of Directors, spoke on the broader economic challenges affecting companies in Nigeria. He highlighted that many firms reported significant losses up to Q1 2024, primarily due to economic fluctuations. Owoade emphasized the importance of sustainable financing and robust risk management to mitigate bad loans and enhance economic stability.

Innovation and Future Prospects
Olaniyi Yusuf, Managing Partner at Verraki, discussed the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) in the financial sector. He noted that while AI presents potential risks, particularly around job displacement, it also offers opportunities for job creation and economic growth. Yusuf stressed the need for a regulatory framework that supports AI innovation without stifling it, and the importance of infrastructure to support AI development.

**CBN’s Role and Initiatives:**
Dr. Adetona Adedeji, Acting Director of the Banking Supervision Department at the CBN, highlighted ongoing efforts to promote sustainable credit practices. Represented by Olubunmi Ayodele, Assistant Director of the Banking Supervision Department, Adedeji underscored the importance of not only granting credit but ensuring it is sustainable and revolving.

Adedeji outlined several measures implemented by the CBN, including the establishment of the National Collateral Registry, the Global Standing Instruction, and the approval of multiple credit bureaus. These initiatives aim to enhance credit sustainability and provide lenders with a comprehensive view of borrowers’ creditworthiness.

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