Sunday, December 15, 2019 / 8.00AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for
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The prospects for the growth of Nigeria's Fintech industry came to the fore at the Social Meet 6.0, which was the last for the year and hosted by Udo Udoma and Bello Osagie Chambers in Lagos.
It gave an insight into "Fintechs and Regulation" with Mr. Sam Okojere, the Chief Fintech Officer and Director, Payments Systems of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as the keynote speaker.
The event brought together key players in the country's Fintech ecosystem, from technology lawyers, developers, innovators, bankers, academia, and analysts.
Giving his opening remarks at the event, the President of the Fintech Association of Nigeria, Dr. Segun Aina, said the forum was part of the process of deepening the financial technology ecosystem in the country.
Dr. Aina was happy to inform stakeholders that through the advocacy role of the Association, regulators and other players have started showing commitment to leveraging digital technology to transform the financial services sector.
Speaking further, he noted that in a recent Enhancing Financial Innovation Access, EFINA survey Fintechs in Nigeria highlighted regulatory clarity as a major concern for their operations.
He believed with continuous engagement with regulators like the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the National Insurance Commission, the regulatory space will become more proactive to developments in the Fintech industry.
In a brief presentation at the forum, the Founder and CEO of Kuda, Nigeria's first licensed mobile bank, Mr. Babs Ogundeyi, stressed the need to address the issue of the price of financial services, which was critical to deepening financial inclusion in the country.
The Kuda Mobile Bank CEO said it had created a savings bucket with a variety of other products that will enable Nigerians to access financial services that are free from the regular charges that are obtainable with the traditional banks.
Presenting the keynote speech on behalf of the Director of Payment Services, CBN, a Senior Associate with Udo Udoma & Bello Osagie Chambers, Tolulope Omoleye Osindero, highlighted some of the key developments as it concerns the regulation of Fintech activities.
From the presentation it was clear that the CBN had developed various policy documents and guidelines covering the following areas;
Speaking further she outlined the category of licenses issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria in the payments and technology space, which are;
The presentation also highlighted the challenges that the CBN as a regulator is facing in carrying out its task, they include;
It featured a panel session with discussants Mr. Isa Alade, Secretary of Fintech Association of Nigeria, Tolulope Omoyele Osindero, Senior Associate Udo Udoma & Bello Osagie Chambers, Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, Chief Operating Officer, Fintech Association of Nigeria and Mr. Babs Ogundeyi, Founder/CEO of Kuda Mobile Bank.
The panellists agreed that the evolution of the Fintech industry in Nigeria had witnessed a reactive approach by the Central Bank of Nigeria, meaning there as the need to encourage the regulator to be more proactive.
According to the Secretary of the Fintech Association of Nigeria, Mr. Isa Alade, the Association had approached the CBN on the possibilities of a single licensing framework.
Highlights of the event were the induction of new members into the Fintech Association of Nigeria and the presentation of certificates to professional members.
In 2019, Nigeria attracted about $400m investments in the Fintech space, making it the leading destination for Africa.