The Nigerian financial technology providers, fintechs, have attracted at least $1 billion in investments in six years.
This figure was disclosed at the 31st Seminar for Finance Correspondents & Business Editors holding in Enugu.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said at the seminar that the industry attracted the investment of about $500 million in firms run by Nigerian founders, between 2015 and 2020, based on the high level of confidence in Nigeria’s payment system, Daily Trust reported.
Mr Akeem Olujinmi Lawal, the Divisional Chief Executive Officer, Payments Processing Division, Interswitch Group, corroborating what the CBN Governor said, disclosed that an additional $500 million had crept in between 2020 to date, raising the figures to $1 billion.
Mr Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy CBN Governor, Corporate Services, Mr Edward L. Adamu, said the rise in Fintechs is also deepening financial inclusion even though he said the access is not robust enough.
He said: “In spite of these gains, about 36 per cent of adult Nigerians still do not have access to financial services.
“Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to businesses.”
He also said the e-naira would impact the financial inclusion numbers.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria decided to introduce a central bank digital currency, the eNaira, which would help in attaining our goals of fostering greater inclusion using digital channels, supporting cross border payments for businesses and firms as well as providing a reliable channel for remittances inflows into the country,” he said.
He added; “with the deployment of the eNaira, Nigerians in remote areas can conduct financial activities using their digital as well as features on phone devices.
“Partnering with our stakeholders in the financial industry, I believe that more Nigerians will be financially included.”
The CBN Governor also said the rise in payment systems has also led to rising risks and thefts in spite of measures to stop the same.
He assured of CBN’s readiness to confront the high fraud risks of fintech, including stiffer regulatory prescriptions.
He said fintech would dominate the payment space going forward.