Nigeria’s Fintech industry critical for financial inclusion, says telecoms regulator

The Financial Technology (FinTech) industry is a critical driver of financial inclusion for Nigerian citizens living in the underserved and unserved communities across the country, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, has said.

Dr. Maida made this known 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.

He said that Fintech is revolutionizing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem as it represents a positive disruption to the conventional financial system. Maida stated 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.

The EVC stated that 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. He also stated that the adoption of these Fintech applications for socioeconomic gains by the youth, who account for 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population, will add value to the economy.

He said 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 said the Commission has begun implementing new strategies to meet the new target of 70 per cent 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.

The EVC stated that the Commission, in support of its vision in this sphere, 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. He also informed that NCC will continue to play an important role in harnessing the potential of Fintech through maximum support for Fintech policies, enforcing regulations, and strengthening collaborations with relevant authorities.

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