The focus of financial inclusion is the easy access of financial services to the populace to tackle poverty, improve living standard and address the general welfare of the people for the purpose of enhancing economic growth. This paper examines how financial inclusion relates with economic growth in Nigeria. Data was obtained from the bulletins of the Central Bank of Nigeria covering the period 1981 to 2020. Statistical analysis involves the use of descriptive statistics, Johansen Co-Integration Test, Phillips-Perron Unit Root Test, Pairwise Granger Causality and Error Correction Model. To estimate the hypotheses formulated in alignment with the set objectives., the Error Correction Model was used. Economic growth, the dependent variable, was proxied by Gross Domestic Product, while total bank deposit and total credit disbursement constitute what was used to proxy the independent variable financial inclusion. The Error Correction Model result shows that there was a positive and statistically significant relationship between total bank deposit and gross domestic product. Total credit disbursement has a negative and an insignificant relationship with gross domestic product. The result from the study validates the finance led growth hypothesis and established that finance is one of the factors that causes economic growth in Nigeria. The consequence of this findings is that policy makers should pay more attention on long run financial policies that can enhance effectiveness of the financial sector in promoting growth. In addition, the CBN should focus on reduction of interest rate of banks in other to increase financial intermediation.
Keywords: Financial Inclusion, Financial exclusion, Loan, economic growth, total bank deposit
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