November 12, 2019 / 10.00 AM / Nifemi Taiyese for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
At the 2019 Nigeria Fintech Week, panelists discussed "Regulations and the Future of Fintech in Nigeria" as it concerned Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Moderated by Tolulope Osindero, Senior Associate, Udo Udoma & Bello Osagie Chambers, the panel session discussed regulations governing Fintech in Nigeria.
It was an opportunity for regulators and operators to explore how Fintech could be better regulated.
Mr. Andrew Davis, the Corporate Innovation & Fintech Advisor, Stone & Chalk, Australia speaking on developments around regulations in the financial space, said regulators are experiencing a challenging time globally as Fintech disrupts the way banks operate and the expectations of consumers.
Davis observed that the developments in several markets across continents showed that regulators also need to build added capacity to understand the innovative trends in financial markets.
The regulators, according to Davis should study how consumers were using the new services; in other words, the adoption rate of Fintech and the risks involved.
Giving his recommendations, Davis urged regulators in Nigeria to be supportive and also promote the development of the Fintech ecosystem.
In markets like U.K, Singapore and Australia, he said that the regulators are actively engaged with Fintechs and allow them to bring their services into the market with a restricted licensing model as part of the experimenting process.
He noted that regulators couldn't afford to sit on the sidelines because the market is moving fast.
Mr. Hassan Umar, Deputy Director, Financial System Strategy of the Central Bank of Nigeria on his part, described Fintech as a critical national infrastructure that needs to be protected and regulated.
Umar believed that Fintech involved the adoption or use of technology to influence or change business models, products, services, and processes. According to him, it affects the whole ecosystem not only financial institutions but the way things are done.
The CEO of the NASD OTC Securities Exchange, Mr Bola Ajomale, in his intervention, said that a robust Fintech regulatory approach would boost investor confidence in the Nigerian financial market.
Ajomale was of the view that regulations will allow the companies to come up with products that are compliant with the rules of the environment. He also lauded the sandbox approach of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Dr. Patrick Conteh, a Consultant with the International Monetary Fund, IMF and former Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone, said the regulatory sandbox was evolving in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa and was a work in progress.
Conteh developed a Fintech roadmap for Sierra Leone, which received widespread commendations across the continent.