The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has signed an agreement with the FinTech Association of Nigeria (Fintech NGR) and FinTech Development and Advocacy Initiative (FSI), to promote professionalism in the financial services industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the signing of the agreement was witnessed by representatives and members of CIBN, FinTech NGR and FSI, at the Bankers House, Victoria Island, on Thursday in Lagos.
Dr Ken Opara, of CIBN, said the alliance was a unique one in the annals of the Institute.
“First, this is the first time the institute is collaborating with two partners at once for the provision of a certification.
“Secondly, this is the first collaboration agreement to be executed during my tenure.
“Thirdly, this initiative is a further step towards the realisation of the mandate of the institute to promote professionalism, whilst enhancing knowledge and competencies in the financial services ecosystem,” he said.
The Fintech Certification Programme is intended to sharpen the minds and raise awareness of industry players about the importance of leveraging technology for financial inclusion and growth.
Opara said the role of the Institute was to be the bridge that would engender positive handshake among all the players (banks, fintechs, other financial agents) in the financial services industry.
This, he said, would be done through capacity building programmes, training, content development, advocacy and sound corporate governance policies.
The CIBN president also said his administration would be built on six strategic pillars with the acronym FUTURE.
According to him, the first pillar with the alphabet ‘F’ is Financial Innovation and Transformation.
He said, “under this pillar, we plan to among others, institutionalise Fintech Certification in collaboration with other credible bodies to sharpen the minds and awareness of industry players in optimising technology for financial inclusion and growth.
“I am extremely delighted that three months after mounting the saddle of leadership of the Institute, we are taking sure steps towards the achievement of this objective.
“Under this Agreement, the three institutions have come together to award Fintech Certification, which offers an excellent opportunity to bridge the tech talent gap and indeed further drive the implementation of the Competency Framework in the banking and finance industry in Nigeria.
” Opara appreciated the Bankers Committee and the Central Bank of Nigeria for appointing the institute as the Accreditation Agency for the implementation of the Competency Framework.
He said the institute would not take the appointment for granted, expressing its determination to make a success of the assignment, which would lead not only to more knowledgeable professionals but improved service delivery.
Mr Ade Bajomo, President, FinTech NGR, said the partnership was a historic moment for FinTech NGR.
“If you cast your mind back only a few years ago, people were wondering whether FinTechs will take over banks and whether banks will still exist.
“But I think we are getting down to a point where you can see that both FinTechs and banks will coexist, they will co-compete and of course, there will be banks that will be more successful because they’re agile, and there will be FinTechs as well that will be successful because of tapping opportunities that perhaps the banks cannot see.
“But in all of these really, it is essential to develop capacity and capability,” he said.
Bajomo said banking as a profession was well regulated with strong compliance, strong culture of capacity building, knowledge building among others, adding that there was the need to also build capacity within the FinTechs in Nigeria.
“If you look at banking as a profession, it’s well regulated, there’s strong compliance, but there is also a strong culture of capacity building, knowledge building.
“When you look at FinTechs and, indeed, the nature and age of FinTechs in our country, it’s about agility, it’s about innovation; and those things that are lacking in terms of compliance regulations have to form the foundation.
“If we’re going to provide scalable, trustworthy financial services, then we have to build that capacity within the fintech.
“But we also have to build the capacity within banks to be more agile, so that way, it’s a rising tide and our economy will benefit from it, the rest of Africa and the rest of the world will benefit from it,” Bajomo said.
Mrs Aituan Kola-Oladejo, Executive Director, FSI, who described CIBN as a “forward thinking institution,” said the signing of the agreement would sharpen the FinTech industry.
She said, “this agreement will open the gate for more FinTech innovators into the FinTech ecosystem, as what was lacking was trust.
Chams Plc, a financial technology organisation, has won Fintech platinum award for paving ways for Fintech industry to take-off and thrive in Nigeria and Africa.Mr Ade Bajomo, President, Fintech Association of Nigeria (FintechNGR), presented the award to the company at the maiden edition of Fintech Platinum Awards on Tuesday, in Lagos.Bajomo said that Chams’s outstanding works of excellence in the Fintech space were not just profound, but fundamental catalyst for changes which had brought huge economic, security and social growth to Nigeria.“The company has achieved success through large scale projects such as pioneering works on e-payment through formation of value cards in collaboration with six top Nigerian banks.“Others includes identity management through the first successful implementation of the Nigerian National Identification, establishment of the INEC Voters Database and Cards, SIMREG databases for NCC and telecommunications.“In addition, it is the first home-grown company to be listed in the Guinness Book of Records for setting up the mega ChamsCity Digital Mall and also the first computer technology company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” he said.Bajomo noted that Chams implemented the Nigeria’s Biometric Verification Number (BVN) which helped to solve the identity crises, to a large extent and curtailed fraud in the Nigeria banking system.In his remarks, Mr Demola Aladekomo, Founder and Chairman of Chams Plc., called for a smart regulation that would deepen the sector.According to him, this will attract more investments and transform lives through increased opportunities for the teeming African youths.Aladekomo, who was represented by Mr Gavin Young, the Group Managing Director, Chams Plc, appreciated the FintechNGR for the recognition and award.“Our aim is not to relent but to keep innovating and promoting Fintech solutions for a myriad of social and economic challenges faced by Nigeria and beyond.“The objectives of the award was to celebrate the best of Fintech Innovators and Startups who have contributed to the Nigerian economy, deepened collaboration amongst individuals and corporate institutions.”Those using innovation to solve national challenges, create employment, put Nigeria at the centre of innovation in Africa, and as a force to reckon with in the global tech landscape.“FintechNGR believes that these will ultimately prepare the nation to play actively in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Chams Plc is a Nigerian company, that has been in Fintech business for over 38 years.Chams Plc was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and is well-known for having championed e-payment, identity management and other major initiatives in Nigeria.
The FinTech Association of Nigeria says Financial Technology (FinTech) operators accounted for 63 per cent of the 1.37 billion dollars funding raised in Nigeria in 2021.
President of the association, Mr Ade Bajomo said this on Saturday in Lekki, Lagos, at a dinner held at the FinTech Platinum Awards ceremony.
Bajomo noted that Nigeria had been well-positioned in Africa and in the global FinTech ecosystem.
He said that Africa could currently boast of 10 unicorns out of which seven – Jumia, Fluttwerwave, Andela, Chipper Cash, Airtel Africa, OPay and Interswitch – are Nigerian.
“In a similar light, Nigerian start-ups raised 1.37 billion dollars of the four billion dollars raised in Africa in 2021.
“Of these, the FinTech space alone accounted for about 63 per cent of all total funding, compared with just 25 per cent in 2020.
“The growing investor confidence in African FinTech reflects the continent’s huge potential due to deepening mobile and internet penetration, a youthful population, increasing consumer sophistication and income, amongst many other factors.
“When you think about how far FinTech in Nigeria has come, you should thank the incredible entrepreneurs who envisioned, pioneered and executed strategic moves that have now crystallised into strong and growing companies,’’ Bajomo said.
According to him, in spite of the enormous achievements, there is always the need to look back and appreciate how far the FinTech ecosystem has come in the country.
He said FinTech in Nigeria raised about 600 million dollars in funding between 2014 and 2019, compared to more than one billion dollars raised in one year alone.
Bajomo said that few years ago, real time payments and digital (quick) loans were almost impossible.
He added that Nigeria is now home to about 250 FinTech companies, in spite of huge infrastructural, regulatory and financial challenges.
The association’s president said the trajectory was not set to slow down by any means as by 2025, Africa would be home to 1.5 billion people, most of who would have grown up with the internet.
He said that the continent’s demographics would include a vast group of digitally-literate but under-banked customers, who could be tapped by home-grown and foreign FinTechs.
Bajomo said the FinTech Platinum Awards was to create a world class award ceremony which would raise the standard of the top global awards within the sector.
He said the association was strongly positioned to play strategic, critical and unbiased roles in creating an enabling environment for FinTech to continue to thrive in Nigeria.
This, he explained, would be by providing leadership for FinTech ecosystem evolutions in the country and across the continent.
The award for the “Female FinTech Trailblazer’’’ was worn by Ms Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-founder, PiggyVest, for starting something ground-breaking and at the same time, a strong force in the industry.
The award for “Ground-breaking Achievement’’ went to Carbon Microfinance Bank, as one of the first organisations to do something innovative in their space, while adhering to ethical standards.
The “Ecosystem Enabler’’ award was received by Banwo & Ighodalo Firm for providing significant resources and support for the Nigerian FinTech ecosystem.
“Leadership Award’’ (organisation and individual categories) were awarded to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Mr Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director of Interswitch.
This is for paving a pathway on how things should be done in the FinTech space and consistently raising the bar.
Mr Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Founder, Future Africa got the “Tech Advocacy’’ award for being at the forefront of pushing for increased technological advancement in the ecosystem.
He got the award also for fostering opportunities, networks and inclusion to make it a reality.
The Ficial Technology Association of Nigeria (FinTechNGR) is targeting one million students and others over the next five years to boost the FinTech sector.
The president of the association, Mr. Ade Bajomo, made it known to Lagos during the fifth edition of Nigeria Fintech Week.
Bajomo said the association will develop the digital talents of university students, hence the unveiling of the "DigiStuds Program".
He said the program aimed to develop technical expertise among the students, in order to ensure their employability in the Nigerian fintech ecosystem.
“The goal is to reach a million students, individuals, over the next five years, and we've started with a handful of universities to put in place a robust and repeatable process and then we can stretch it.
“Nigeria maintains its place among the top four fintech clusters in Africa alongside Kenya, South Africa and Egypt.
“Already, Nigerian fintech startups have raised more than $ 321 million in 47 deals in half-year 2021, compared to $ 307 million raised for the whole of last year, 2020.
“We are proud that Nigeria is also one of the 38 countries that have produced unicorns like Interswitch, Flutterwave, Jumia, Airtel Africa, oPay and most recently Andella.
“The innovation has not been limited to fintech, as we are seeing regulators like the CBN introduce a digital currency 'eNaira' into the economy,” he said.
Bajomo, however, said that despite the achievements, 40.1 million Nigerian adults, representing 41.6 percent of the total population, were still officially excluded.
“This means that there is still a very large opportunity for innovation,” he said.
Bajomo said the association is working to address the challenges of fintech startups in the country to ensure a robust ecosystem.
He identified the lack of access to fice / funds for fintech startups as a challenge, noting that much of the funding for fintech came from abroad.
“It's not a bad thing; it shows that if we can't find the funding here, the funding comes in dollars, which the country needs, but we need to prepare more structures in the country so that fintechs have real access to the funds.
“FinTech Nigeria is coming together as a group, which is actually working with entrepreneurs to see what needs to be done and to bring together investors to actually target that; there is a lot of work going on in the industry, ”he said.
According to him, some Nigerian entrepreneurs are now in the fintech space and raising capital locally and internationally to ensure that fintechs are funded.
Bajomo said the lack of desired regulation in the industry was also a challenge, adding that fintechs continued to push for regulation "where one size fits all."
He said the capital requirements from a regulatory point of view have become high.
Bajomo said the fintech ecosystem needs talent, hence the reason for the DigiStuds program.
“These are not just talents, these are not just numbers, these are talents who can actually deliver and develop sustainable, quality and scalable solutions, technology solutions, not the kind of start-up and start-up solutions. stop, break and repair. This is the level of talent that we need to develop.
“We need to go deeper into talent development and quite frankly start doing some basic science and engineering that will lead us to building robots and things like that, because that's where the world is going.
“We cannot be on the receiving side, we have to deepen our science and our research; that's really where the industry comes in.
"This is where collaboration with universities comes in, this is where the Digistuds initiative comes in," Bajomo said. (www.)