By Emma Okonji, Raheem Akingbolu and Dike Onwuamaeze
The Co-founder and Head of Business Development of Paga, Mr. Jay Alabraba, has disclosed that the vision of the mobile money operator and international money transfers service provider is to eliminate the use cash by making it possible for billions of people to access and use money in and outside Nigeria without difficulty.
Alabraba disclosed this during a virtual media briefing Tuesday, saying Paga has concluded arrangements to commence operations in Ethiopia and Mexico.
He explained that Paga’s transformative purpose was “to create an ecosystem that enables businesses and individuals to digitally send and receive money, and deliver financial services to everyone. It is directed at eliminating the cash problem.”
“Even though this is not going to be eliminated tomorrow, but any step that we can take to digitise payment for sending and receiving money is step to that direction.
“We intend to make it simple for one billion people to access and use money. We will be expanding beyond the shores of Nigeria to be able to achieve this dream,” he added.
The co-founder of Paga further disclosed that the company has about 17 million users across the country through its direct channels and its networks of 27,000 agents in every local government in the country.
He stated that Paga’s sign-on grew by 700 per cent per quarter during the lockdown that was occasioned by the need to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Moreover, “we saw an almost 300 per cent increase on merchants that adopted Paga as a channel to collect payments.”
Alabraba, said the core values of the Paga are collaboration, ownership, result, integrity and innovation.
“We like to think of ourselves as champion of diversity and inclusion by bringing financial service to a mass market. But more importantly, we aspire for economic inclusion, which is all about creating jobs, helping small businesses to grow, developing opportunities for employment creation by these small businesses,” he said, adding that an average Paga agent employs about three people.
He, however, emphasised that Paga does not hold or trade on crypto currency that was recently banned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said: “Paga is fully compliant on that front. But we do have a view that there is a future for crypto and how it happens in Nigeria should depend on dialogue rather than a blanket ban. But right now we do not hold or trade on crypto currency.
“We emphasise adherence to regulatory provisions. Governance is essential as we operate in complex regulatory environment and have investors of various kinds that demand governance.
“We also empower women and girl child. Fifty per cent of our work force is women and 50 per cent of our leadership is women as well. Thirty per cent of our agent networks are women owned businesses.
“We have successfully established a well trusted and known brand by earning the trust and confidence of people and the network,” he said.