Policy expertise

Financial sector training: Identifying opportunities in Nigeria

Policy Area
FSD Africa
OPM contact

This assessment project is providing a model for a stronger, more coordinated financial sector training environment in Nigeria. Skills shortages are a critical constraint to financial sector development across the region and exclude large sectors of society from accessing even the most basic financial services. We are working with Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) to assess the financial training environment in Nigeria and identify opportunities for scaling up successful initiatives. We are mapping key stakeholders through a combination of primary and secondary research methods including literature review studies and stakeholder interviews. Evidence is being used to inform FSDA’s skills shortage strategy aimed at removing barriers to financial inclusion across sub-Saharan Africa.

Skills shortages have been identified as a critical constraint to the development of financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa. The problem is endemic across all levels of the market with most financial institutions acknowledging gaps in internal capacity but unwilling to invest in skills development which may mean losing employees to competing organisations. Therefore even though needs differ across institutions and countries, there is a common consensus that the industry as a whole would benefit from a coordinated response to the problem.

This project was established to provide evidence on the extent and effectiveness of existing financial training initiatives in the context of Nigeria, particularly those that promote sector-wide coordination. This information will be used to feed into a wider financial sector inclusion strategy.


We are using both primary and secondary research methods to assess the financial training environment in Nigeria. Work is focused around mapping key players and their influence through extensive industry reviews and in-country data collection activities. On the demand-side, stakeholders include financial sector organisations offering products across all levels from microfinance banks (MFBs) to deposit money banks (DMBs), while on the supply-side stakeholders include financial training suppliers and industry associations.

Stakeholder mapping is being based around semi-structured interviews that qualitatively describe both efforts to develop sector-wide initiatives as well as the external factors that shape this activity. We will use this information to identify opportunities for FSDA to collaborate with leading Centers of Excellence and other training institutions and programmes.

Specific areas of work include:

  • Undertaking literature and documentation reviews
  • Designing semi-structured questionnaires and conducting stakeholder interviews Influence mapping to identify the institutions, relationships and external factors that influence capacity building
  • Process mapping to investigate bottlenecks, constraints and barriers to effective collaboration
  • Developing detailed case studies that illustrate the training cycle in both microfinance and deposit banks
  • Identifying successful models of capacity building that can be applied in a number of contexts and developing costed, strategic recommendations for FSDA


This study is helping the FSDA to better understand the scale and effectiveness of financial training initiatives in Nigeria. It is also identifying opportunities for strengthening industry coordination and scaling-up the activities of Nigerian Centres of Excellence. This evidence is helping inform the FSDA’s strategy on tackling skills shortages more widely. Over the longer-term, the roll-out of this strategy will support the development of financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa, improving the accessibility of finance for even more low-income Africans.

Senior Consultant
Project Manager
Principal Consultant
Associate Consultant