Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), underscored the importance of the Financial Technology (FinTech) industry in promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria at the 2023 Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) FinTech Forum.
He emphasized that FinTech is crucial for reaching underserved and unserved communities across the country.
The forum, held in Lagos, centered on “Harnessing Nigeria’s Fintech Potential: Challenges and Opportunities”. Dr. Maida, represented by Mr. Henry Ojiokpota, the Controller of NCC Lagos Zonal Office, stated that the rise in digital financial services makes this an opportune time for such a discussion.
Dr. Maida highlighted how FinTech is revolutionizing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem by disrupting the conventional financial system. He noted that the emergence of financial technology has enhanced services like mobile banking, borrowing, investment, and cryptocurrency, thereby stimulating innovation, job creation, and investment, and further driving economic growth.
He pointed out that FinTech applications, including robo-advisors, payment apps, peer-to-peer lending apps, investment apps, and crypto apps, are creating business opportunities. He also emphasized that the adoption of these applications by the youth, who make up 70% of Nigeria’s population, will add value to the economy.
Dr. Maida cited recent industry statistics, which showed that active subscriptions across mobile networks in Nigeria reached 220.7 million in August 2023. This demonstrates that the Nigerian FinTech ecosystem can offer a wide range of financial services to telecom subscribers.
He assured that the NCC will continue to expand and enhance telecommunications infrastructure to enable robust FinTech services. The commission will also address consumer concerns and regulatory challenges in the sector. He stressed that optimal utilization of digital technologies will enhance the provision of financial services to rural communities and underserved segments of the population through high mobile phone penetration in Nigeria.
Dr. Maida also stated that the NCC has begun implementing new strategies to meet the target of 70% broadband penetration by 2025, as outlined in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025. These policies and strategies will significantly impact the benefits derived from the FinTech industry and will positively influence Nigeria’s goals on financial inclusion and the digital economy. He promised that the NCC will continue to support the FinTech industry in harnessing its enormous potential and will strive to address the challenges in the sector.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Maida, emphasized the Commission’s commitment to upholding minimum Quality of Service (QOS) standards to ensure continuous connectivity and enhance the sector’s contribution to the economy.
In line with this vision, the Commission has put into effect a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Bank of Nigeria to enhance payment systems and financial inclusion, aligning with the Nigeria Payments System Vision 2025.
The EVC also highlighted the NCC’s ongoing role in maximizing the potential of Fintech. This includes providing full support for Fintech policies, enforcing regulations, and strengthening collaborations with relevant authorities.