Fintech firms have seen capital inflow to the tune of $400 million this year, in efforts to build a more financially inclusive country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele disclosed that this investment in fintech firms was part of the plan to improve the reach of financial services and deepening financial inclusion in the banking sector.
According to Mr Emefiele, the Central Bank had issued 15 super-agent licenses and 3 payment service bank licenses to telecommunications and fintech companies in efforts to build a financially inclusive Nigeria and support improved payment services.
“In an effort to build a more inclusive financial system and to improve the efficacy of monetary policy tools, we provided 15 super-agent licenses, as well as three Payment Service Bank, licences to telecommunications and fintech companies.
“These measures are aiding in the development of a robust payment infrastructure and an expansion of agent locations across the country. As a result of our policy measures, in 2019, over $400 million have been invested in fintech companies, focused on supporting improved payment services in Nigeria.”[READ MORE: Digital technology and blockchain altering conventional banking models – Emefiele]
The entrance of new players into the payment services market and the strengthening of the financial 16 networks, according to the CBN, gave a growing number of under-served Nigerians access to cost-effective banking services. The apex bank had planned to sustain these efforts in 2020, in order to reduce financial exclusion rate to under 20% over the next year.
Meanwhile, the CBN stated that, in its push to improve access to finance and credit, it would protect borrowers from unfair banking and lending practices by maintaining oversight on the banks and other financial institutions.
In line with the bank’s objectives for 2020, the bank was also determined to maintain a stable exchange policy stance in the near to medium term, given the relatively high level of reserves.
However, the apex bank also disclosed that it was working with the fiscal authorities, to support the recovery of the economy, while reiterating that Nigeria was open for business. It urged investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Nigeria and assured that investments in the country would be duly protected by the authorities.