Microsoft: Nigeria needs a national debate on data governance, innovation

Akin Banuso, Country Manager, Microsoft, says there was the need for a national debate on data governance and sharing, to deepen innovation.

Banuso spoke at the maiden edition of the FirstBank Hackathon competition on Artificial intelligence (AI) and Big data, to boost technological advancement in the banking industry.

He said that having a national debate on data governance would help proffer solutions that were customer driven for the growth of the banking industry.

Banuso said that data, which had become digital gold, remained a huge challenge to innovation, and called for collaboration in the technology sector in handling it.

The country manager said that data was a major issue in all sectors of the state, which buttressed the need to decide who would be in charge of data and how it should be utilised.

“We need to train more data scientists, in order to increase knowledge on the use of data and ensure that ethical skills are adopted and enforced.

“We also need to get a national conversation about data and what we want to use it for if we have the right framework, then we can talk about sharing,’’ he said.

Also, Lola Ekugo, Head Digital Innovation Lab, First Bank of Nigeria, said at the event that banks, to drive financial inclusion, must structure highly relevant and simplified financial solutions that meet the specific needs of their customers at an affordable cost.

She said that understanding customers’ needs before pushing out technology innovations was very essential.

Ekugo said accessible digital channels would provide greater convenience for customers at a lower cost for banks and also provide solutions to challenges related to infrastructure in country.