NCC Playing Significant Role In Enhancing Internet Connectivity, Fintech Growth In Nigeria – Prof Danbatta

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) / CEO Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta says the commission  has put in place various measures to facilitate Financial Technology (Fintech) and ensure the availability, affordability and accessibility of internet connections across Nigeria.

Prof Danbatta was speaking at the maiden edition of the Finance and Business Online Polishers (FiBOP) Association conference, with the theme:  ‘Harnessing Fintech for Economic Growth and Development’ held in Lagos recently.

The NCC CEO who was represented by the Commission’s Director, Digital Economy Department, Dr. Augustine Nwaulune, said the Backbone of FinTech and emerging technologies is hyper connectivity, which means growing interconnectedness of people, organizations, and machines that results from the internet, mobile technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“This is proof of the capabilities inherent in technological innovations, and the power of changing mindsets of telecoms and financial services users.

As the Telecommunications Sector Regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission has put in place various efforts to ensure the availability, affordability and accessibility of internet and broadband connections across Nigeria.” Prof Danbatta said.

According to him, the shift from paper and analogue to digital is the new normal, as a large percentage of financial services and payments are now powered and provided for through mobile phones and other mobile devices, thereby providing easy and seamless access to financial services.

“The Commission working alongside with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided USSD codes through which rural dwellers can seamlessly carry out financial services without access to a physical Bank. Fintech services can now be carried out on 2G phones.” He noted.

Prof Danbatta said Nigeria’s Fintech revenue has been projected to grow to $543.3million in 2022 from $153.1 million recorded in 2017.

In his words, “For millions of Nigerians, Fintechs have designed practical, convenient, and affordable financial products and services, setting the bar for innovation in product creation. In doing so, they have had a multiplier effect on the economy as a whole, opening up new business models outside of financial services, promoting the expansion of e-commerce, expanding the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent pipeline, and accelerating the nation’s development goals.

“Yet despite these impressive gains, the impact created by Fintech is still only a fraction of its potential. Notwithstanding, the positive gains and impact of fintech on financial inclusion, about 1.7 billion adults worldwide are not financially.

“About 56 million adult Nigerians fall into the categories of under-banked, unbanked, and financially excluded, compared to South Africa with 31% of financially excluded and Kenya 44% among others.

“Nigeria still faces a significant financial-inclusion challenge, with more than 40 per cent of the country’s population of around 200 million people without a bank account,” he added.

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