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Government targets NIPOST to aid financial inclusion initiatives




To aid mobile and financial inclusiveness especially in rural communities, banking services will be added to the operations of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), the national postal carrier which delivers mails to businesses and citizens. Financial inclusion is the delivery of financial or monetary services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society. 
This was disclosed by the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, in response to the catalysts that will galvanise the financial inclusion agenda of Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on sustainable monetary policy for Mobile Money Operators at the third edition of the Nigeria Mobile Economy Dialogue (NiMED).
This was held in Lagos by the Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD), an advocacy, training, public education and development non-profit, non-governmental organisation, with the theme: Growing the Nigerian Economy through Mobile Innovation and Investment.
Speaking at the event, Adebayo said the NIPOST banking and insurance services are at par with countries like South Korea, Singapore and China who provide banking services along their postal services.  

He explained that his Ministry was planning to provide this service as a unit or company within the reformed NIPOST, adding that there were contemplations on the management of the bank to being run within NIPOST or agent banking.
According to him, the success of the mobile money initiative through which customers use their mobile phone device to send and receive money, is one of the catalysts that will galvanise the financial inclusion agenda of Nigeria. 
To this end, concerted efforts are geared towards continuous collaborations with Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) and relevant stakeholders. Also, relationships have also been built with the following agencies, amongst others to facilitate the growth of the scheme: Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC); Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC); Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST); National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Speaking on challenges in the ecosystem, President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), a self-regulating body, which manages the .ng national resource and the country code, Sunday Afolayan, said government policy was impeding development in the sector. He beckoned on the government to follow the sequence of innovation-competition-regulation.
According to a CECAD Director, Bayero Agabi, the Nigerian mobile ecosystem is growing consistently despite the battle with economic recession, giving hope and platform entrepreneurs the opportunity to innovate and create new services and products.
Bayero noted that, “despite the digital convergence benefitting consumers, it also created regulatory challenges. Rapid innovation in terms of both technology and business models is blurring the boundaries between once-distinct markets and regulatory regimes. The net result is a complex and dynamic digital ecosystem in which both consumers and businesses face regulatory uncertainty. Infrastructure and balance regulatory environment is a major pill required to grow the industry.’’
He said the NiMED event sought to provide a platform and solution to the huge challenges facing the mobile content developers, who ensure your mobile content works flawlessly no matter where the users are accessing it in the Nigerian mobile ecosystem. From ring tones, graphics, discount offers, games, movies, and GPS navigation and many more to unveil the economic benefits and opportunities in the sector.

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Adebayo ShittuNIPOST
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