Saraki, others speak on potential of FinTech for economic growth

August 16, 2021
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STAKEHOLDERS have canvassed the use of utilising the Financial Technologies (FinTech) sector in creating opportunities, good jobs and great wealth in Nigeria.

The economic potentials for FinTech in Nigeria are huge. The prospect for growth in the industry is promising, notwithstanding the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, beyond facilitating core financial transactions and increasing financial inclusion amongst the underbanked and unbanked, FinTech is fast devolving into agriculture, transportation, healthcare, education, insurance, asset acquisition, and other basic consumer needs.

These were the opinions of stakeholders at the third edition of the Grow Nigeria Conversation (GNC) held in Lagos, with the theme, ‘Using FinTech to create opportunities, employment and wealth’.

Speaking, the immediate-past Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and the patron of GNC, said that “With over 33.3 per cent or 23 million of Nigeria’s working-age population is out of work, we must begin to look into how we can create more job opportunities for more young Nigerians using FinTech.”

He added, “We must discuss the strategic interventions that the government and the private sector can embark on to enable financial technologies expansion across the country.”

According to Saraki, as we do so, we must learn what other countries are doing. We must look at how Fintech companies in Asia-Pacific pulled in $2.35 billion in investment during the first three months of this year alone, more than the total amount raised in the first half of 2020.

Tola Onayemi, Investment Lawyer at Nigeria’s Office of Trade Negotiation said that “The government needs to do less of throwing money on issues and look more at underwriting risks.

“Rather than throw a billion into the tech space, the government can underwrite risks at the same amount so tech companies can compete in a more favourable environment.

He noted that the reason why credit is expensive and financial tools cannot get to places in Nigeria is because of the risk involved, saying a robust insurance system in Nigeria means that tech companies would be encouraged and the cost of products and services in the country will reduce greatly.

Also, the CEO of Risevest, Eke Urum stated that the sector will create opportunities to address unemployment among the youths, saying that the youth can play in this sector.

He noted that “The world definitely sees Nigeria as an investment destination. Despite all the economic challenges, Nigerian still commands the largest investment in Africa.”

Founder of Verdant AgriTech, Nasir Yammama, said that  FinTech is the most relevant infrastructure in the digital age, saying that it has transformed the way we do things, especially in the financial sector.

According to him, FinTech has unleashed the talents of young Nigerians. However, there exist huge untapped opportunities in the FinTech space.

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