The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida has underscored the vital role of the Financial Technology (FinTech) sector in promoting financial inclusion for underserved communities across Nigeria.
This pronouncement came during his keynote address at the 2023 annual Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) FinTech Forum in Lagos, focusing on “Harnessing Nigeria’s FinTech Potential: Challenges and Opportunities.”
Represented by Mr. Henry Ojiokpota, the Controller of NCC Lagos Zonal Office, Dr. Maida highlighted the relevance of the forum’s theme, considering the surging adoption of digital financial services throughout the nation. He lauded FinTech as a positive disruptor revolutionizing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem, enhancing financial services such as mobile banking, borrowing, investment, and cryptocurrencies.
Dr. Maida emphasized that the emergence of financial technology serves as a catalyst for innovation, job creation, and investment, ultimately spurring economic growth. He recognized the significant business opportunities created by FinTech applications like robo-advisors, payment apps, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending apps, investment apps, and cryptocurrencies.
Moreover, Dr. Maida stressed that the adoption of these FinTech solutions by Nigeria’s youthful population, comprising 70% of the country’s demographics, holds the potential to augment the national economy. He cited recent industry statistics revealing over 220.7 million active mobile subscriptions in Nigeria as evidence of the FinTech ecosystem’s capability to provide diverse financial services to telecom subscribers.
Dr. Maida affirmed the NCC’s commitment to expanding telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate robust FinTech services and address consumer concerns and regulatory challenges. He emphasized the role of digital technologies in delivering financial services to underserved communities and rural populations, capitalizing on high mobile phone penetration in Nigeria.
In conclusion, Dr. Maida expressed his belief in FinTech’s potential to enhance the existing payment and financial system infrastructure, further propelling economic growth and promoting financial inclusion. He revealed the NCC’s implementation of new strategies aligned with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, targeting 70% broadband penetration by 2025. These efforts, he stated, would have significant implications for advancing the FinTech industry, positively impacting financial inclusion and the broader digital economy.
The NCC’s unwavering support for the FinTech sector was reiterated by Dr. Maida, who pledged to address industry challenges and enhance the provision of secure infrastructure for efficient digital financial services. He also emphasized the Commission’s commitment to maintaining minimum Quality of Service (QOS) standards, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity and strengthening partnerships with relevant authorities.
Furthermore, Dr. Maida highlighted the NCC’s collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through a Memorandum of Understanding, aligned with the Nigeria Payments System Vision 2025, aimed at boosting payment systems and financial inclusion.
The Nigeria Communications Commission continues to play a pivotal role in harnessing the vast potential of the FinTech sector, supporting FinTech policies, enforcing regulations, and fostering collaborations with relevant stakeholders.