ALP Seminar Series Highlights Opportunities in Fintechs

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Olawale Ajimotokan
The 2019 Akindelano Legal Practitioners (ALP) Seminar has explored the benefits of digital finance to Nigeria’s economy.

Kobi Bendelak of InsurTech, highlighted the investment funds available for the development of advanced technologies in insurance industry.

Also, Mrs Ronke Kuye of Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF), lamented that about 36 million adult Nigerians, mostly females, were excluded from the financial system.

Kuye, explored the progress of financial inclusion in Nigeria. She expressed optimism that through the current network of financial agents and the planned increase, SANEF will attain its target of full inclusiveness by the end of 2020.

SANEF is powered by CBN and a number of organisations such as Deposit Money Banks (DMB), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), licensed mobile money operators and shared agents with the primary objective of accelerating financial inclusion in Nigeria.

Her presentation was followed by a series of panel discussion. Esaie Diei of Efina, discussed the topic ‘Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access’.

Data by Efina showed that majority of Nigeria’s population (61.9 per cent), live in rural areas and available financial services are usually informal.
Similarly, 50 million adults do not have accounts at a formal financial institution, 41.6 per cent of the adult population are financially excluded while almost 10 per cent (9.4million) rely solely on informal finance.
The second panel discussion on, “Challenges for the FinTech and Digital Finance in Nigeria,” featured Degbola Abudu of Capricorn Digi and Folu Majekodunmi of Asseco.

It was concluded that chief among the challenges were the lack of protection for intellectual property, a faltering education system which fostered a lack of understanding even amongst agents of the opportunity available; suspicion and lack of trust of the populace for any finance related services and lack of funding.

The third panel discussion that considered the ‘Data Economy in Nigeria,’ featured Yinka Aderombi of Leadway Insurance, Ade Atobatele, Chineye Uzoukwu, Emeka Okoye Cymankis and Konstatinos Tsanis of Wema Bank.
It evaluated the importance of data in enhancing the growth of every sector of the Nigerian economy and asserted that a great deal of the data which can be mined to predict consumer behaviour is currently flowing freely out of the country to organisations such as Facebook, Google and other foreign owned platforms.