Leveraging digital technology to improve agribusiness, financially empower women, provide innovative solutions in education, healthcare and insurance are part of the ways the fintech industry can unlock economic opportunities in Nigeria.
Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, the Chief Operating Officer of the Fintech Association of Nigeria made this point on the sidelines of the recent 2022 Fintech week hosted in Lagos.
According to him the Fintech industry must provide solutions to various socio-economic challenges in the nation to attract investors.
He said “There are opportunities in the healthcare, insurance, education and agriculture sectors, which are verticals that can drive more investments into the fintech ecosystem and the Nigerian economy”.
Speaking further he stressed the need to leverage the emerging technologies to grow the economy and create more opportunities for Nigerians.
On the recent Start-Up bill signed into law by the President, he believed that it will boost investor confidence and make the fintech firms attractive for investments.
In the area of broadband which is a critical infrastructure to achieving a robust digital economy in Nigeria, he acknowledged the progress made in the country and called for a linkage with digital skills.
“Beyond solid broadband infrastructure digital skills will be a major driver for the Nigerian digital economy. Take Kenya for example they are currently adopting coding in the primary and secondary school curriculum,” he noted.
Assessing the investment in digital skills by the Fintech Association of Nigeria and partners, Dr. Obrimah pointed out that the initiatives “Digiquips” and “Digistuds” have led to 400 students trained in web designs and data analytics amongst others.
We are also exploring the “DigiCorps” with the National Youth Service Corps to also expand digital skills nationwide.
“The government should provide the framework like the National Digital Economy Policy for digital skills development and the private sector should drive it”.
Considering the issues around the need for a seamless licensing of fintech start-ups in the country, he called on regulators like SEC and CBN to partner with the private sector to deepen activities in the respective sandboxes, that can onboard more firms.
The Nigerian fintech industry attracted over $700m in Q2,2022, created 20,000 jobs in over a decade and has supported the growth of over 530,000 businesses.