‘Technology Will Drive Nigeria’s Growth’

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By Emma Okonji

The Managing Director, Africa Operations of Inlaks, Femi Adeoti, has said that technology which is a major force in the innovation value chain will, continue to drive growth to attain national and global relevance for Nigeria, if fully embraced.

Adeoti, who was a guest speaker at the series on financial technology event organised recently by the Vanguard Media recently, further highlighted that mobile payments technology, was one of the ways innovation is paving the way for economic prosperity.

He noted that mobile money was becoming increasingly significant, especially in the context of developing economies where many low-income households and microenterprises do not have ready access to financial services.

“The biometrics process in banking institutions took Know Your Customers (KYC) beyond the bank branches, equipping them to provide safer payments, transfers, simplified banking and fraud reduction,” he said.

According to him the Shared Agent Network (SAN), a programme of the Bankers Committee and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which enables financial inclusion, “is made possible through the use of mobile and digital payments platforms.”

Adeoti, also gave an instance of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), a public accounting system powered by technology, which links various government accounts with the view of ensuring that all revenue receipts and payments are done through a Consolidated Revenue Account (CRA) at the CBN.

This, he said had enabled regular and effective monitoring of government cash resources, helping the federal government gain a stronger hold on its finances and reduce fraud ultimately.

He therefore noted that, “If a country has a fragmented system for handling government revenues through the banking system, it is a critical public financial management weakness that needs to be addressed.”

Speaking further on the use of technology in driving financial inclusion in the country, Adeoti, explained that the CBN had granted an approval-in-principle to Inlaks to operate as a super-agent to enhance financial inclusion strategy in Nigeria, authorising Inlaks to work with the CBN and its partners to reach the underserved population and the financially excluded.

The aim of this, he said, “is to ensure that the unbanked population in Nigeria have access to affordable financial services through CBN’s agent network that will address social challenges in key areas such as health insurance, credit accessibility, savings, and wage payment among others”.

Inlaks is one of the leading system integrator in Africa.

NPA to Partner Navy to Safeguard Nigeria’s Territorial Waters

Eromosele Abiodun

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has reiterated the determination of the management of the authority to collaborate with all stakeholders responsible for safeguarding the nation’s territorial waters within budgetary limitation.

She gave the assurance in Lagos recently, while exchanging view with the new Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of the Western Naval Command RealAdmiral Obed Habila Ngalabak who paid her a courtesy visit in her office.

The NPA boss stressed the need for the Nigerian Navy to partner with the NPA in securing the nation’s waterway, within their jurisdiction considering the history of their evolution and their peculiar areas of operation.

Bala-Usman, assured the FOC that all issues he brought to her attention through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to be submitted to her office and deliberation at the meeting, especially the renovation and rehabilitation of the Takwa Bay would be considered appropriately.

Earlier in his address, Real Admiral Ngalabak informed the NPA Managing Director of the need of all concerned to assist the Navy to take a holistic reconstruction of the Takwa Bay as it is facing the challenge of erosion.

According to him, urgent steps should also be taken to avert an impending disaster being perpetuated by some unscrupulous elements at the Island.

Furthermore, he informed the NPA management that the Nigerian Navy prides in the best dockyard in the region and subsequently sought mutual beneficial venture between NPA and Nigerian Navy towards patronage of the Naval Dockyard.