Wednesday, October 30, 2019 / 06.20AM /
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The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, have made key commitments to support the deepening of the Fintech ecosystem in the country, and broaden financial inclusion.
These were parts of key resolutions at the opening session of the 2019 Nigeria Fintech Week in Lagos.
The Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Mary Uduak, while performing the official launch of the Fintech Roadmap for the Nigerian Capital Market, stressed the importance of collaboration in Nigeria's quest of achieving scale in financial inclusion.
Ms Uduk said Nigeria had a fast growing young population, a surge in mobile technology penetration, and a large pool of talent, to provide a vibrant market for digital financial services.
She said with the roadmap SEC will broaden its regulatory scope to cover areas like crowd-funding and marketplace lending.
Also speaking at the event the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability of the Central Bank, Mrs Aishah Ahmad, said Fintechs had a critical role to play in driving financial inclusion for about 1.7bn people that are currently excluded in the globe.
She informed stakeholders that the CBN has been at the forefront of enabling the payments space in the country, providing the required legal and regulatory framework.
The CBN Deputy Governor said that a regulatory sandbox is currently being worked on to support the Fintech ecosystem.
She called for innovation in the financial service sector that is inclusive, responsible and accountable.
The CBN according to Ahmad will work assiduously to effectively address the following issues;
In his opening remarks the President of the Council of Fintech Nigeria, Dr. Segun Aina, OFR, described the Nigeria Fintech Week as a strategic forum to strengthen collaboration between regulators, banks and fintechs in the country.
Dr Aina said the Fintech Nigeria Association currently has 100 members across 9 sectors of the economy, and has been instrumental to the growth and expansion of Fintech in Africa.
Speaking further he said the Africa Fintech Council has the support of the African Union, AU, African Development Bank, AfDB, and the Africa Export Import Bank, AFREXIM.
He noted that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA recently signed by over 50 countries, was an opportunity to deepen financial inclusion in the region.
The CEO of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan , delivering the opening address on the theme "Surviving With Fintech Innovation: What are the Sustaining Factors" described the mobile phone as the pervasive gadget for financial inclusion..
"People across the globe want to participate in transactions and should be given the opportunity through veritable platforms"Akinwuntan said.
Ecobank Nigeria's CEO believed that the USSD service was a major platform for scaling financial inclusion, that should be made accessible to millions of Nigerians.
Akinwuntan announced that Ecobank Nigeria had decided to provide the USSD financial service to Nigerians at zero cost to broaden financial access in the country.