I was born into a privileged Muslim household in the ancient city of Ibadan presently the capital of Oyo State, Nigeria in the late 80s. My mother, a devoted Christian married a Muslim man; this influenced my growing up with the teachings of both the Holy Bible and the Holy Quran. I was brought up in a family that encourages full understanding of self and others in a society, where different religions doctrines set the trend of things. Before I became a teenager, I attended the same primary schools with children from other privileged Yoruba/Nigerian/African homes. To this end, I thought my reality was the same with that of my community.
The Adeojo household has 15 children in which I occupy the 12th space while Jubril (a co-researcher in this research-to-social-innovation-journey) occupies the 13th space. Jubril and I experienced everything together. From identical clothes we wore as toddlers to our academic qualifications, place of work and presently our shared passion to help rural/neglected communities help themselves through our individual and collective emerging PhD, which Trans4m facilitates.
Our social consciousness was firstly awakened when we enrolled at the Muslim secondary school “Ad-din International College”. Here we had our first major encounter with the “other” part of the community, which we thought, shared similar realities as us. Tying together the realities of the subjected majority in the Muslim secondary school and the nature of my present career path (Financial Inclusion), I realized how dependent the neglected and rural communities are on charity and aid from the west and from urban settlements. To this end, my research vocation focuses on helping rural/neglected communities help themselves, by resurrecting the models of community banking in light of a broader sense of financial inclusion via Heritage Bank’s agent banking scheme. By renewing the ideal of community banking, communities will be able to self-generate financial leverage, which will enable the community to easily access financial and developmental services for the good of the community. For rural communities in Nigeria to make that formative move from Aid-Reliant economy to Self-Sufficient economy, such community must be self-revenue generating at first. Part of the functions of a community bank is to help harness the resources of a community and transform it into revenue for the community to help itself.
Community banking failed to impact rural Nigeria positively due to a lack of solid and transparent cooperate governance and a lack of understanding of the diversity in culture and norms of each community, which in turn influences the needs of the community. Through the collective effort and research of CISER, ACIRD and Trans4m, community banking will be rejuvenated in rural Nigeria through agent banking, duly aligned with the need of each community to empower the community help itself and to become socio-economically self-sufficient.