Two percent (2%) is a special number in Nigeria. Out of the 30 million people I have noted that have some money to buy things in the nation, 2% brings another dimension. According to government data, 2% of the Nigerian bank depositors control 90% of the total value. Also, Nigerians who have more than N500,000 ($1,400) in their bank accounts are just 2%. I have called this the Double 2% – the first 2% controls 90% of the total deposits and the other 2% has more than $1,400 in their bank accounts. Certainly, there is an overlap in these two 2%s.
Director of Research and International Relations at the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, Alhaji Mohammed Umar, disclosed this at the Businessday Capital Market Development Annual Conference in Abuja, yesterday. His words: “Our current deposit insurance coverage is N500, 000 for the Deposit Money Banks. And some people have said that it is low. I can tell you that it is very adequate for the majority of accounts. “It will interest you to know that it covers over 90 per cent of accounts in the country. Indeed, Nigerians who have more than N500, 000 in their accounts are just two per cent.
“What we found is that this two per cent Nigerians have 90 per cent of banks’ total deposits. Look at that – two per cent Nigerians own 90 per cent of total banks deposits, while the remaining 98 per cent have just 10 per cent of total deposits. What that tells you is that the gap between the rich and the poor has continued in this country.”
If you miss this 2% in Nigeria, even if you are selling food and medicine, you will be in trouble because they are really the people that have money to spend. Also, if only 2% of the population has more than $1,400 in the bank, you need to test the viability of running a saving-based business model in Nigeria since people have really nothing to save: hand to mouth. The implication is that you have to depend on maybe another cohort which is certainly lower than 2%.
More so, if you use BVN (bank verification number), 2% of the about 40 million users will give you 800,000 people in the Double 2%. Those 800,000 people – less than 0.5% of Nigeria’s population – are the jewels in the Nigerian economy for most companies in consumer business!