NITDA Calls For Fintech Advocacy To Sustain Digital Economy
TECHDIGEST – As Financial Technology (FinTech) proved to be a critical element in the advancement of digital economies globally through its enormous contribution to Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) as well as the alleviation of poverty, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE has said that there is need for continuous advocacy of Fintech for the sustainability of Nigeria’s digital economy.
Inuwa who represented Dr Ayo Bakare of the Agency’s Digital Economy Department (DED), said this while delivering his keynote address at the 2nd Africa Cashless Payment Systems Conference themed “Building Cashless Africa” in Abuja.
While describing FinTech as an important sector that needs to be passionately embraced, the NITDA boss stated that Fintech is one of the outstanding sectors where the impact of digital technology is felt in Africa.
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Giving accolades to the Foreign Investment Network (FIN) and its partners for organising the event, Inuwa averred that the conference which brings professionals from the financial, technology, judiciary and government sectors together would ensure that information technology is adequately integrated into every sector, particularly the financial sector.
“The collaboration through this Conference allows FinTech companies, vendors of financial solutions, consumers, government, and academia to meet and deliberate on how Africa can develop and promote safe, secure, and seamless digital financial transactions across the continent with minimal disruptions”, he stated.
The DG expressed his confidence that digital financial solutions, cyber security, e-commerce and digital retail banking amongst many others would as the topics of discourse during the event would give new insights into strengthening the country’s cashless economy.
Without mincing words on the advantages of a cashless economy where information is readily available on all flows of income, revenue and expenditure, Inuwa stated that reducing the availability of cash in circulation would exterminate all forms of financial crimes in the country.
“Negative social vices such as theft, corruption, illegal transactions, money laundering, financial crime, and the like are reduced as the availability of cash in circulation reduces. The authentication of all transactions in a cashless payment system has brought transparency and built trust in the ecosystem”, he mentioned.
He asserted that cashless payment system in Africa will further promote the actualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of eliminating poverty, empowering women and ensuring citizens have access to credit services.
According to Inuwa, “Africa’s revenue from Fintech alone hit between $4.5bn and $6bn in 2022 and Bloomberg report shows that Fintech in Nigeria accounted for $439m in the year 2021. And it is projected to increase by 23.69% in the year 2022. Furthermore, many Fintech Unicorns have emerged in Africa, of which 6 of them are from Nigeria”.
He added that Africa’s huge unbanked population is a major concern that requires urgent intervention and urged the government and Fintech companies to intensify efforts in absorbing them into the trending bandwagon of financial independence and growth.
While reiterating the Agency’s support to the Fintech industry through their developmental regulations with a focus on cyber security, data strategy, data protection, cloud computing and emerging technologies, Inuwa expressed faith that a cashless economy would bring development to Africa and the world.
“It is important for this gathering to note that cash is still a major dominator in African transactions. However, I have a strong conviction that Fintech has the ability to eradicate cash dominance in Africa. Having a secured cashless system will enhance faster and more effective African trade within the region and globally”, he stated.