By Emma Okonji
Fintech specialists and other stakeholders have urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigeria Security Commission, to conduct a talent needs survey to help address skills deficit in the country.
According to the professionals, the survey would help the regulators to understand the type of manpower challenges the industry is facing and to assist the education and training institutes to develop relevant curricular.
The keynote speaker and President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, said the specific competencies identified by the survey would be a starting point for Fintech professionals, HR, educators and policy makers to understand what skills are needed in the industry.
The Fintech and Human Resources (HR) experts spoke during the Fintech Talent Summit – a co-located but focused event – within the annual Lagos Fintech Week 2020, which held virtually recently.
Unanimous in their submissions, the specialists expressed the views that such a talent survey would empower the education and training centres to develop relevant programmes that will enable students to gain access to the Fintech and HR industry with maximum preparedness.
“The Nigeria Fintech ecosystem has become a leading network in Africa’s financial service industry through innovative solutions in lendtech, insurtech and wealthtech among others.
“The industry is regarded as a dominant force in Africa. However, despite the huge potential of Fintech, access to and retention of best-in-class talents is a growing concern within the industry”, the FinTech experts said.
According to a PwC report in 2017, 77 per cent of the Chief Executive Officers surveyed view skills shortages as business threats.
In his presentation, Mba-Uzoukwu explained that the skill shortages in the industry cut across hard and soft skills. “Not only technical skills, but also specific communication and response behaviour that are highly valued in the Fintech industry,” he emphasised.
Speaking on the Community-as-a-Service (CaaS): Connecting with the right Talent for Current and Future Opportunities, Head of Department, Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Professor Abiodun Aibinu, identified 10 skills that are relevant to the future of work.
He listed EQ, critical thinking, active learning with growth mindset and judgment as well as decision making. Others include interpersonal communication, leadership, diversity and cultural intelligence, technological and embracing skills.
Also, the Executive Director at Innovectives Group, Ayo Oladimeji said: “For us as Fintech experts, our talent pool is our greatest asset. And this goes a long way to determine growth and success of the venture.”
To grow and achieve the mission of the business, we must help our team members to thrive by providing an inclusive and progressive work atmosphere, he added.
The Fintech and HR professionals that also spoke at the summit include the Director General, Ekiti State Directorate of ICT, Dr. Hakeem Bakare; Founder, Programmos Limited, Amos Emmanuel; CEO, Spacepointe, Sayu Abend; and CEO, Computic Limited, Moses Braimah.
Others include the Founder and CEO of Riby Finance, Salami Abolore; Team Lead, Innfact Concepts, Akinbowale Alabi; the CTO, Inits Limited, Femi Taiwo and Head of Engineering at SystemSpecs, Mujib Ishola.
The faculty also had the CTO and Executive Director at Precise Financial Systems, Osifalujo Adedotun; Head, HR and admin, United Securities, Omobolanle Imafidon as well as the Chief Operating Officer, Automarket, Timi Tope Olagunoye.