Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Financial Inclusion on Poverty Reduction in Katsina State, Nigeria
Keywords:Financial inclusion, Poverty, Financial access, Quality of financial services, Usage of financial services
Financial inclusion holds the potential to reduce poverty by raising the levels of income and human capital. This study verifies this postulation in Katsina state by adopting quantitative research strategy and cross-sectional research design. Primary data was collected through field survey and using questionnaire in four local government areas of Katsina state, namely Batagarawa, Batsari, Katsina and Kaita. In all 480 questionnaires were distributed, but 388 were eventually used in the analysis. Results from the regression analysis show that access to and usage of financial services reduces poverty by improving people’s level of income. Against the backdrop of these conclusions, the study recommends that financial institutions in Katsina state in particular and Nigeria in general should diversify their financial services. Beyond deposit and withdrawal services they should introduce specific credit facilities, reduce the time taken to complete transactions and resolve customer complaints and reduce the cost of financial services being provided. More so, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial sector regulatory agencies should enhance the monitoring and surveillance of financial institutions to ensure efficiency in services delivery and that the rights of customers are protected. In addition, they should also strengthen and make the regulatory frameworks adaptable to the needs of various segments of the population and rollout more financial inclusion strategies.
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