Thursday, December 06 2018 6.00PM
/ Ottoabasi Abasiekong, Proshare WebTV
The Accion Microfinance Bank as part of its commitment to creating value in the Nigerian financial service industry, hosted the 2018 edition of its annual financial inclusion seminar in Lagos.
Focusing on the theme “Digitization as a tool for deepening financial Inclusion and the role of regulation”, the event brought together industry stakeholders, policy makers and regulators in the financial market, technology and business space.
Giving the opening remarks the Chairman of the board of Accion Microfinance Bank Mr Patrick Akinwutan shared that the essence of the forum, was geared towards empowering Nigerians.
According to him “Financial Inclusion to Accion Microfinance Bank is about changing lives positively. We are supporting our customers to achieve their potentials and maximize opportunities”.
The Accion MFB boss said Nigeria is currently struggling with a financial inclusion rate of 40%, which provides the nation opportunities to scaling through technology.
He believed Nigerians were hardworking and enterprising people, and Accion Microfinance Bank on its part was keen on solving the challenge of access to finance in the country.
Akinwutan said regulators on their part need to look at the changing landscape of financial services and digital revolution, by creating an enabling environment for collaborative activities in the micro-finance bank space.
Delivering the keynote Mr John Lwande the Program Director, Africa Board Fellowship of CFI Accion emphasized the need for a coordinated regulatory framework between regulators in the telco, banking, tax and other related sectors.
Speaking on regulations Mr Lwande believed a harmonized identity mechanism was vital to validating people’s identity, stressing that it was time for the adoption of Digital ID.
He called for increased vigilance for regulators to monitor cross border transactions done through digital applications.
In terms of threats Lwande identified the following; the need to re-engineer products, addressing the digital divide, balance between low tough high touch models and the need for change management which should be prioritized.
On the way forward he called on businesses to explore digitization of their current products, while they launch new products to reach out to the large market of millenials.
The event featured two panel sessions “The Role of Regulation” and “The Practitioners Perspective”.
The panel session on the “Role of Regulation” featured the following discussants Mrs Grace Ojougboh, Nigeria Communications Commission, Mr Haruna Mustapha, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Olufemi Fadare, National Identity Management Commission and Mr Reginald Karawasu, Securities and Exchange Commission.
At the session for “The Practitioners Perspective” panelists that participated in the discourse include; Mr Segun Akerele, Chairman EFInA Nigeria Board, Mr Chidierebere Asiegbu, Paga and Mr Tope Ajao, Blue Chip Technologies.