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Develop Cross-sectoral Collaboration to Drive Technology

by Clement McErnest
Yemi Osinbajo- Develop Cross-sectoral Collaboration to Drive Technology

Banks and Telcos have been urged to develop cross-sectoral collaboration to drive technology. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged the banking sector and telecoms operators (Telcos) to form a cross-sectoral collaboration that will help Nigeria achieve its financial inclusion targets by driving digital advancements.

During the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference, which was held concurrently in Abuja and Lagos and live-streamed online from both locations, Osinbajo emphasized the significance of collaboration.

He believes that this type of partnership should be expanded to Financial Technology (FinTech) businesses that are now disrupting financial transactions with their technology solutions.

“Bankers are fearful of telcos and are very wary of them,” Osinbajo says, “but financial inclusion demands that telecommunications innovators come up with products and services that are diverse and heterogeneous, allowing for greater collaboration between banks and telcos.” To make this work, the government must promote financial literacy by enacting policies that will provide people with the knowledge they need to make sound financial decisions.”

Only 29% of agent banking operators are in rural areas, he added, emphasizing the need to expand up financial inclusion measures even in remote populations by leveraging mobile technologies.

He stated that banks must take advantage of rapid technological advancements in order to propel the financial system forward.

“This means that banks must engage with FinTech and payment service businesses to drive frictionless financial transactions in the country,” he added.

Develop Cross-sectoral Collaboration to Drive Technology

Banks must rely on the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) for data that would aid both banks and the government in making informed decisions. For example, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) can use the information gathered from banks to issue a global standing instruction policy that allows banks to recover loans from borrowers in other banks. This will aid in the reduction of non-performing bank loans as well as the expansion of personal and company loans on a much larger scale.”

Financial inclusion, according to Osinbajo, is vital to the country’s digital development, with clear case targets to recover loans faster in the financial industry. As a result, he stated that access to financial services was especially crucial for individuals who were not part of the financial inclusion ecosystem, as it would allow them to build loan facilities, according to him.

In order to develop cross-sectoral collaboration to drive technology, the Vice President, on the other hand, thanked the banks for their crucial contributions to the country’s digital economy drive, particularly their roles in the delivery of the federal government’s social investment program, by making it easier for the government to make payments to the program’s beneficiaries in multiple locations across the country.

Osinbajo also challenged banks to increase their support for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which he claims will help the free trade area’s financial operations.

“To support the predicted increase in trade of goods and services in the free trade area, it will be critical to building interregional and continental payment systems. It would also be beneficial if Afreximbank’s proposed Pan-Africa payment and settlement platform received support from banks and the financial industry, allowing Africans to benefit from a system that allows for cross-border payments across the continent.

“The banking sector has remained one of the most stable sectors in the last century,” Osinbajo said, “but the next decade promises to bring fundamental changes in the financial sector, which Nigerians are beginning to see, through the rise of FinTech companies, blockchain technology, and the role of digital currency.”

Herbert Nwigwe, Chairman of the Conference Consultative Committee and Group MD/CEO of Access Bank Plc, promised Nigerians that the two-day conference will help to further enhance financial inclusion in the country.

Takeaways

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged the banking sector and telecoms operators (Telcos) to develop cross-sectoral collaboration to drive technology that will help Nigeria achieve its financial inclusion targets. He believes that this type of partnership should be expanded to Financial Technology (FinTech) businesses that are disrupting financial transactions with their technology solutions. Access Bank’s Herbert Nwigwe, Chairman of the Conference Consultative Committee and Group MD/CEO of Access Bank Plc, promised Nigerians that the two-day conference will help to further enhance financial inclusion in the country. The Vice President also urged banks to increase their support for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

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