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Fintech Growth: Experts Harp On Policies, Enabling Environment

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Financial experts at the ongoing Future Banking Tech West Africa Conference have called for an enabling environment and policies for fintech to thrive.
The Tide reports that the Future Banking Technology conference was organised to address the full value chain of West Africa’s banking and financial sector to achieve more financial inclusion and sustainable growth.
The conference had the theme: “ Innovation in Regulation – Overcoming Gaps in Rural Banking Strategies”.
According to Steven Ambore, Head Digital Financial Services, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), fintech globally bridges financial inclusion gap.
He said that the CBN recognised the importance of digital financial services and had strategised to ensure fintech’s adoption by the banking industry.
“To make any progress, we need to focus on creating the enabling environment for fintech to thrive, and CBN has instituted strategies toward that.
“There is a roadmap for that: introduction of a tradition licensing, trying to understand what fintech does and its problems, holding round table with stakeholders and others,” he said.
Ambore said that women and the youth were the most financially excluded, adding that the CBN was working toward bridging the gap.
He called on the financial sector to make financial services more accessible and affordable as well as ensure it would meet specific needs.
The Principal Economics Officer, Ministry of Finance, Ghana, Mr Benjamin Tordah-Klu said that a proper regulatory framework would be needed for fintech to thrive.
According to him, a lot is being done in the fintech space, especially in the area of payment, urging their adoption.
The Head, Financial Literacy Office, Consumer Protection Department, CBN, Mr Damola Atanda said that apart from an enabling environment, financial literacy was of essence.
According to him, we have technology, but the problem is what we do with the technology. We have to make it impact on the people.
“Forty million excluded Nigerians in rural areas have been living their lives well without technology; introducing financial technology to them will be strange because they will be wondering its use.
“How to get them to understand banking solutions is where financial literacy comes in, and they should be made to understand the enormous responsibilities that come with it,” he said.
He advised that the CBN should work with the National Youth Service Corp to enlist corp members to educate people in rural areas on the benefits of digital services.
Atanda listed other activities of CBN for boosting financial inclusion to include development of a portal to standardise financial literacy and putting together a consumer protection framework.
Earlier, Dr Evans Woherem, Founder and Chairman, Digital Africa Global Consult Ltd. and Compumetrics Solutions, said that financial inclusion and fintech were apt.
According to him, financial inclusion is important because of the need to ensure that the generality of people, especially from ages 18, become users of financial institution.
“It is so unfortunate that these are financially excluded; there is the need to ensure that things are done to include them.
“Fintech is something that we also need to pay more attention to, as it is an exponential technology that will disrupt the banking system.
“”The banking system has come a long way – from the long queue banking to the realtime one, but this is not enough; we need to embrace fintech in the banking system,” he said.
He said there was the need for West Africans to catch up on technology adoption, adding that the conference provided an opportunity for experts to come up with decisions that would help the sector to move forward.

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ICT Skills’ll Deliver Economic Independence To Nigerian Girls – NITDA

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that if Nigerian girls are taught relevant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills at a young age, they will be set up for economic independence in future.
The Agency who made this remark through a press release signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, joined the global community to mark the “Girls in ICT Day.” The day which is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April falls on the 23rd April this year.
In the statement, Mrs Umar said that the Agency is highlighting the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in ICT, the world’s fastest growing sector.
She said, “During this year’s celebration, NITDA is drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women to participate actively in the ICT sector of our economy. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had estimated skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next few years. This opens a huge opportunity for girls and young women who have the ability to learn Coding, Apps Development, Computer Science and other ICT related courses.
“This will not only make them ready for a successful career in the ICT sector, but ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in just about any other field they might choose to pursue. With technology playing vital role in all manner of careers, from Arts to Social Sciences, and from Law to History, to Graphic Design, learning ICT skills at a young age will set girls up for economic independence. Furthermore, the ICT sector needs more girls and women and celebrating a day like this reminds us that ICT helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.
“It contributes significantly towards better healthcare, better environmental management, better communication, and better educational systems that transform the way children and adults learn. NITDA, in its proactive manner and in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy as well as in furtherance of bridging the gender imbalance in ICT in Nigeria, has embarked on series of Capacity Building programmes for women and girls across the country. Girls with ICT skills can expect to earn good wages and enjoy huge career opportunities.

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Keystone Bank Disowns Ex-staff, Fake Investment Company

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Keystone Bank Limited has alerted customers of the activities of one Mr. Obinna Onuselogu, who parades a company, Triple C Investment Limited, as an affiliate of the bank with the aim of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank, in a statement yesterday, said Onuselogu, who used to be a staff, was no longer in its employ.
It added that anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of the bank does so at his/her own risk.
“Please note further that Keystone Bank is neither related nor affiliated to any company known as Triple C Investment Limited, which Mr. Onuselogu claims to be its chief executive officer.
“Anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of Keystone Bank does so at his/her own risk,” the statement said.
It was learnt that the ex-staff has been using the name of the bank and its executives claiming to be in partnership with the bank with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank said it was working on a legal process and security agents to put an end to the unscrupulous activities of the so-called Tripple C Investment and its agents.

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Fishermen Union Warn Against Dead Floating Fish Consumption

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The Bonny Indigenous Fishermen’s Cooperative Union has set up a 20-man task force to work with the police and arrest any person or group of persons found with the polluted floating fish along Bonny sea and creeks.
President of the union, comrade Promise Bristol, made this known in a chat with newsmen in Bonny.
Bristol observed that a large quantity of different species of fish were found dead, floating on the sea, from the Atlantic Ocean to the communities and fishing ports in Andoni and Bonny Local Government Areas.
According to him, the species of fish included croaker, popularly known as “broke marriage”, “shine nose”, mackerel, among others.
Bristol lamented that the incident had brought untold hardship to the fishermen in the areas, saying that fishing is their only source of livelihood and appealed to government at all levels to come to their aid.
Bristol said the cause of the death of the fishes was unknown and warned members of the public against their consumption, pointing out that consumption of such fishes could be detrimental to human health.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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