FinTech key to promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria – Maida

Kauthar KhaleelNovember 5, 20233 min

Maida pledged the Commission’s continued support to the Fintech industry in harnessing its enormous potential and addressing challenges in the sector.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, has noted the critical role of the Financial Technology (FinTech) industry in advancing the financial inclusion of Nigerian citizens living in the underserved and unserved communities across the country.

Dr.  Maida stated this in his keynote address at the 2023 edition of the annual Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) FinTech Forum which focused on, “Harnessing Nigeria’s Fintech Potential: Challenges and Opportunities” and took place in Lagos recently.

The EVC, who was represented by the Controller of NCC Lagos Zonal Office, Henry Ojiokpota, stated that the theme of the forum was suitable at this time for a discourse about the financial industry given the significant rise in digital financial services across the nation.

According to him, Fintech is revolutionizing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem as it represents a positive disruption to the conventional financial system, adding that “financial technology’s emergence to leverage technology to enhance financial services such as mobile banking, borrowing, investment, and cryptocurrency, comes as an enhancer and enabler of business and other opportunities in the sphere of innovation, job creation and investment that further stimulates economic growth.

“Fintech applications such as robo-advisors, payment apps, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending apps, investment apps, and crypto apps, among others, create business opportunities for individuals. The adoption of these Fintech applications for socioeconomic gains by the youth, who account for 70 percent of Nigeria’s population, will add value to the economy.”

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The NCC boss recalled recent industry statistics citing active subscriptions across mobile networks in Nigeria, which hit 220.7 million in August 2023, to demonstrate that the Nigerian Fintech ecosystem can offer an array of financial services to telecom subscribers.

He assured that the Commission will continue to expand and enhance telecommunications infrastructure to enable robust Fintech services and address consumer concerns, and regulatory challenges in the sector because the optimal utilization of digital technologies will enhance the provision of financial services to rural communities and underserved segments of the population through leveraging of high mobile phone penetration in Nigeria.

“Therefore, Fintech has the potential to deepen the existing payment and financial system infrastructure to reach unserved and underserved areas and further stimulate economic growth”, Maida said.

He equally informed that the Commission has begun implementing new strategies to meet the new target of 70 percent Broadband penetration by the year 2025 as contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, and the blueprint released by the Honourable Minister for accelerating the growth of the digital economy sector through technology.

“These policies and strategies have huge implications for enhancing derivable benefits of the Fintech industry as well as significantly and positively impacting Nigeria’s goals on financial inclusion and the digital economy at large.”

Further, Maida pledged the Commission’s continued support to the Fintech industry in harnessing its enormous potential through maximum support for Fintech policies, enforcing regulations, strengthening collaborations with relevant authorities, and addressing the challenges in the sector, including improving the provision of secured infrastructure that support the delivery of digital financial services in efficient ways.

While reiterating the Commission’s focus on maintaining minimum standards in Quality of Service (QOS) to ensure uninterrupted connectivity to enhance sectoral contribution to the economy, the EVC also said the Commission has implemented a Memorandum of Understanding with CBN on boosting payment systems and financial inclusion, which is in line with the Nigeria Payments System Vision 2025.

Kauthar Khaleel

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