Nigeria’s Double 2% Premium Customers

Nigeria’s Double 2% Premium Customers

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!


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4 thoughts on “Nigeria’s Double 2% Premium Customers

  1. Having N500k and above in a bank is a luxury here, and not many people are at that level. Of course looking at such data won’t tell the whole stories, so more digging may be required.

    Nigeria is a peculiar country, data works in a different way here, depending on who you are targeting, you may need to look at things differently.

    Within a period of 30 days, some money keep entering and leaving many of those accounts we lump as part of the other 98%, but due to demands facing those accounts outweigh supply, the money rarely last 72 hours before moving on…

    The standard economy models and GDP measurements developed in organised economies won’t work well here, that’s why even with almost 90 million people described as being ‘poor’ here, those people are not dying of hunger in droves yet.

    Our structure and survival mechanisms are very complex, you simply cannot feed in any data and expect the outcome to tell the whole stories on what goes on in Nigerian homes and communities.

    There’s more to Nigeria, even AI will struggle to function well at scale here, because what the machines will have to learn will keep changing.

    1. Very good point there, Francis. I think we have to begin “formalising” every aspect of the Nigerian economy. This is perhaps why, no matter the huge amount of projects, programmes or policies planned or carried out by the government over so many years, no sustainable tangible impact seems to be recorded. We simply do not know what works for us, and we don’t seem to care either. Political expediency trumps everything.

  2. 98% of Nigerians survive on angel funds. Family and friends who give out their hard earned monies to the less privileged friends and relatives without expecting anything in return. So the 2% are mostly holding the 90% of total deposits in trust for the 98%, plus a little extra for themselves.


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