The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Institution Training Centre, (FITC), Mrs. Chizor Malize, has advised deposit banks and financial technology firms (fintechs) to learn from their previous mistakes in driving financial inclusion in the country.
Delivering her keynote at the third edition of Industry Summit/Awards formerly known as Industry evening summit with “Financial inclusion, digital payment and the challenges of banking the unbanked,” as them, she said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has led in the forefront of the drive for financial inclusion.
She said to drastically reduce those segments of the unbanked and under-served, there is a need for synergy and collaboration between the deposit banks, fintechs and financial regulators.
“Low cost of transactions, and greater expansion in reach and a reduction in the use of cash for business dealings will happen when synergy is achieved,” she added.
She identified collateral as another stumbling block in the campaign. “Another major hurdle is the request for collateral when giving out loans. Most low-income earners cannot afford collateral. Therefore, they opt out of going to deposit money bank. Instead, they prefer borrowing money from loan sharks who give them at very high interest,” she said.
Quoting Proshare Nigeria, she said there are over 200 fintechs currently operating in Nigeria. This translates into about $560million in investments between 2019 and 2021.
She said the rise of these companies can be attributed to the increase in penetration of smart devices and the increase in the use of digital channels and agents to reach the underserved an unbanked in rural areas, adding that, some of these fintechs have also personalised their services to make it easy for people to use their services including mailing of ATM cards to customers who open accounts online.
Convener of the forum and Editor-in-Chief of the Industry Newspapers, Goddie Ofose who welcomed everyone to the event said experts were invited to tackle on subject matter.
“We sincerely hope that, in the end, justice would be done. The missing puzzle would be found, issues around the growing unbanked population would be sorted.
“Let also use the medium to thank our panelists: Mr. David Okeme, Divisional Head, Payment Solutions & Vertical Market, Systemspecs, Mrs. Chioma Afe, Group Head, Retail Marketing & Analytics, Access Bank Plc, Mrs. Branka Mracajac, MD/CEO, 9 Payment Services Bank (9PSB), Ms. Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing & Corporate Communication Officer, Interswitch, Mrs. Bola Atta, Group Director, Communications UBA Plc, Mr. Babs Ogundeyi, CEO, Kuda Microfinance Bank and Mr. Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business and Retail Products, FirstBank Limited, Oti Ukubenyenji, Snr. Vice President, Product Retail, Terragon as well as our moderator, Alhaji Mojeed Jamiu, an erudite financial journalist and publisher of Upshot Reports.
“This programme is two legged. The first is this morning session and the second leg is the dinner and awards that will be coming later this evening. I wish to appeal to everyone here to kindly honour us with your presence and we won’t take you for granted.”
The second leg of the event, which was the awards Night/Dinner saw a long list of individuals and corporate organisations rewarded under different categories for their contributions to the growth of the economy.
The award recipients include: the governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, who emerged the best governor of the year 2021 (Infrastructure), also, the Chief Executive Officer of Modion Communications, Odion Aleobuah, was awarded PR Man of the Year, Rotimi Bankole, Chief Executive of SBI Stagwell, (Media Man of the Year) and First Bank Plc. (Advertiser of the Year).
Other awardees are; Simisola Hughes Obisesan, Insight Redefini (Creative Director of the Year), Akin Adewakun of Nigerian Tribune (Brand Journalist of the Year) and Emmanuel Oriakhi, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries (Marketing Man of the Year).
In the corporate awards category, X3M Ideas bagged the Ad agency of the Year Award, Heineken snatched the Best in Marketing- FMCG category, Trophy won the Alcoholic Beverage of the Year Award, as Dangote carted the Best in Sustainability Award -FMCG category among awardees.
The event attracted stakeholders from the Integrated Marketing Communications and Nigerian political space.
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