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Lack of coordination, integration weakening growth in FinTech sub-sector—Aina

Pioneer crusader in Financial Technology (FinTech), former banker and the Chairman of FinTech Associates Limited, Dr. Segun Aina, has fingered two key stumbling blocks in the effective consolidation of real growth in the nation’s FinTech space.

In an interview in Lagos, the former president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said “I looked at the FinTech environment in Nigeria and saw that a lot of institutions are doing great things (banks, FinTech hubs, technology hubs, payment system companies, technology companies and even students in the schools)”.

He said whereas the government and agencies are doing great things as well, “We did not see coordination in terms of what we were doing, and we did not see integration in terms of efforts towards the growth of the sub-sector”.

According to him, “Different groups are just coming up to do things. I then saw the need to have a cross-sectoral platform where everybody could talk to each other; where everybody that uses FinTech across the industries can talk to each other and have a common agenda in terms of how we can push FinTech to get the best we can”.

“I consulted with a few leaders in the FinTech industry — some bankers, FinTech companies and people who are well known in the industry for what they are doing — and they supported the idea that we needed an association for financial technology in Nigeria. We saw an association that would not only educate, but also serve as a source of network, advocacy and provide support for government and regulatory authorities.

“It will also support up and coming entrepreneurs who want to use technology to become businessmen. So it cuts across every sector. We set it up in June 2017 and in the first meeting that we had, I was elected as the President. We have seven members of the Governing Council, including an Associate Professor at the Lagos Business School; the Managing Director of SystemSpecs, Mr. John Obaro; the Managing Director of Proshare, Mr. Femi Awoyemi; the Managing Director of Accion Microfinance Bank, a top management staff of Ecobank, a partner at a law firm and Tunji Eleso of Co-Creation Hub. You can see that these people cuts across several sectors.

Dr. Aina added that “Even before it was fully established, I made sure I had a handshake with the world by registering it as a member of the Global FinTech Federation, which has opened us up to what is happening in not less than 70 countries across the world”.