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FG commits to affordable digital financial services


[FILES] President on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Lanre Osibona.<br />Photo: Channels

The Senior Special Adviser to the President on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Lanre Osibona, has reiterated government’s commitment to bringing affordable digital financial services closer to Nigerians, especially the unbanked and under-banked.
Osibona, while delivering a keynote address at the Lagos Fintech Week, said that digital financial services are critical to building a robust digital economy, reiterating government’s determination in using it to make financial services affordable to everyone irrespective of their status and gender.
He noted that part of the efforts by the government to embark on the digital financial services was the rollout of digital identity to capture all Nigerians and legal residents with a digital identity – the National Identity Number (NIN).
Lagos Fintech Week is an invigorating week of distinct Fintech events that deliver exciting discussions, stimulating demos and insightful debates.
“For those who have registered, they can verify their NIN by typing *346# from their registered phone number. We have inherited the record of five million registered Nigerians when we assumed office and we have grown the number to over 37 million registered Nigerians,” he said.
He also pointed out that the government has put in place a number of initiatives that include FEC’s approval of the Strategic Roadmap for Harmonisation of all silo identity agencies developed, Data Protection and Privacy Bill to ensure trust between the government and citizens.
He said government was expected to have set up an independent Data Protection Agency, but now at the National Assembly for final adoption before being signed into law.”
The President’s aide also mentioned that government is developing a robust cybersecurity framework on the outcome of the cyber security assessment initiative.
“We have upgraded the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) technology in order to scale the number of records it can hold and work with a number of stakeholders including the private the sector to develop a strategy for e-commerce in the digital economy,” Osibona stressed.
He pointed out that the country cannot afford to lose out in leveraging the opportunities that the digital economy is bringing, but must work together in developing policies and regulations that will address challenges of data sovereignty, data ownership and commercialisation of data.

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