Fintech continues to attract attention in Nigeria, bringing financial services to the unbanked population and increasing financial inclusion in africa as a whole should be paramount to any serious government.
The presidential aide on ICT, Mr Lanre Osibona speaking at the FINTECH Week 2019 held in Lagos on wednesday said that enacting policies and building digital infrastructure would help the country towards becoming a digital economy.
“The approach to new technology investment initiatives of this administration ensures that there is associated skills transfer and human capacity development inline with the Executive Order 005.
“This is because there is a huge opportunity to ride on the fourth industrial revolution towards economic diversification and growth, social inclusion, job creation and transparency of process across sectors,”
Osibona noted that the recent Payment Service Bank framework would position Nigeria as the digital economy giant.
“Digital financial services is a critical pillar of a robust digital economy.
“We are determined to bring affordable digital financial services to people who are currently unbanked or underbanked.
“We have also developed a data protection and privacy bill to ensuring trust between the government and citizens.
Speaking about cybersecurity knowing the importance of cyber security to Fintech he said that the government was developing a robust cybersecurity framework following the outcome of the cyber security assessment initiated.
He said that government would collaborate with the private sector in developing policies and regulations that would address the challenges of data sovereignty, data ownership and commercialisation of data.
Osibona, however, said that a big hindrance to the digital economy was the lack of connectivity and supporting infrastructure.
Fintech in Nigeria is on a fast rise with the government promising to create an enabling environment for the startups to thrive it is expected that more entrepreneurs will venture into the sector.
Fintech Globally Bridges Financial Inclusion Gap- CBN
Steven Ambore, Head Digital Financial Services, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) speaking at the Future Banking Technology conference in lagos.
He said that the CBN recognised the importance of digital financial services and had strategize to ensure fintech’s adoption by the banking industry.
“To make any progress, we need to focus on creating the enabling environment for fintech to thrive, and CBN has instituted strategies toward that.
“There is a roadmap for that: introduction of a tradition licensing, trying to understand what fintech does and its problems, holding round table with stakeholders and others,” he said.
Ambore said that women and the youth were the most financially excluded, adding that the CBN was working toward bridging the gap.
He called on the financial sector to make financial services more accessible and affordable as well as ensure it would meet specific needs.
Mr Benjamin Tordah-Klu, Principal Economics Officer, Ministry of Finance, Ghana, said that a proper regulatory framework would be needed for fintech to thrive.
According to him, a lot is being done in the fintech space, especially in the area of payment, urging their adoption.
Mr Damola Atanda, Head, Financial Literacy Office, Consumer Protection Department, CBN, said that apart from an enabling environment, financial literacy was of essence.
According to him, we have technology, but the problem is what we do with the technology. We have to make it impact on the people.
“Forty million excluded Nigerians in rural areas have been living their lives well without technology; introducing financial technology to them will be strange because they will be wondering its use.
“How to get them to understand banking solutions is where financial literacy comes in, and they should be made to understand the enormous responsibilities that come with it,” he said.
He advised that the CBN should work with the National Youth Service Corp to enlist corp members to educate people in rural areas on the benefits of digital services.
Atanda listed other activities of CBN for boosting financial inclusion to include development of a portal to standardise financial literacy and putting together a consumer protection framework.
Earlier, Dr Evans Woherem, Founder and Chairman, Digital Africa Global Consult Ltd. and Compumetrics Solutions, said that financial inclusion and fintech were apt.
According to him, financial inclusion is important because of the need to ensure that the generality of people, especially from ages 18, become users of financial institution.
“It is so unfortunate that these are financially excluded; there is the need to ensure that things are done to include them.
“Fintech is something that we also need to pay more attention to, as it is an exponential technology that will disrupt the banking system.
““The banking system has come a long way – from the long queue banking to the realtime one, but this is not enough; we need to embrace fintech in the banking system,” he said.
He said there was the need for West Africans to catch up on technology adoption, adding that the conference provided an opportunity for experts to come up with decisions that would help the sector to move forward