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‘How Nigeria’s $2m Fintech Challenge Grant will boost economy’

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CBN headquarters building

Head, Digital Financial Services, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Stephen Ambore, has said the apex bank’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy is intended to create a level-playing field that focuses on driving collaborative activities among actors to boost the economy.
Speaking yesterday at an interactive session in Lagos with other stakeholders in the financial technology (Fintech) industry, he called for a stronger collaboration for the creation of innovative financial products and services.

At the session were discussions on the impact of Nigeria’s $2 million Fintech Challenge Grant on the economy.
  
“So, with the single goal of ensuring that eight in 10 Nigerians are financially included by 2020, all stakeholders have to play strongly to achieve high impact.

“With the regulatory framework provided by the Central Bank, we also need to facilitate stronger collaboration among stakeholders to create innovative financial products and services,” Ambore added.

Financial sector development organisation, Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), in partnership with the British High Commission Nigeria, during the session, announced winners of the Fintech Challenge Grant, which included CredPal, Capricom Digital, RIBY, SmartTeller, ExtraMile Africa and Social Lender.

EFInA introduced the grant in 2018 to stimulate fintech delivery channels provided by the industry.

Unveiling EFInA’s Global and Nigerian Fintech Landscape Survey Report, the Head of Innovation, Dayo Ademola, explained that successful Fintech industries across the world mainly focused on factors such as product innovation, strategic partnerships, physical and digital mix, and lowering barriers to services.

“The industry witnessed a big boom in 2015, and while investors were a little skeptical about the market in 2017, we are witnessing a resurgence. Analysing the global market, we realised that to improve the industry in Nigeria, we have to increase access to micro-credit, enact effective regulations, create innovative and effective solutions and also drive more involvement from banks,” she said.
 
Themed ‘Powering Financial Inclusion through Fintech’, the interactive session focused on exploring methods and activities to grow the ecosystem through increased funding and enhanced regulatory harmony.

The event also served to present and reward several innovations and new infrastructure for financial inclusion among low-income earners in the country.

EFInA’s board chairman, Mr. Segun Akerele, highlighted the challenges faced by the industry in Nigeria, as he explained that understanding global market trends and other success factors remain important in improving the national ecosystem.
  
Congratulating EFInA and winners of the Fintech Challenge grant, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils, commended the organisation, saying, “Nigeria remains central in United Kingdom’s objectives to accelerate financial inclusion in Africa.”


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