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Mobile Money stakeholders’ plan all comprehensive financial inclusion

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Participants at the 2019 Mobile Money (MoMo) Conference, organised by Association of Licensed Mobile Payment Operators (ALMPO), in Lagos, have stepped up the scope of their offerings to a more comprehensive basket of financial services beyond paying and receiving money.

Speaking on the theme; ‘Beyond Payments,’ ALMPO Chairman, Chinedu Onuoha, averred that “The aims of financial inclusion should not be limited to payments alone, that is, paying and receiving of money, but should cover areas that are germane for the average citizen to achieve set objectives.

“The theme of this year’s conference aptly captures the general direction of the industry… We are aware that the financial needs of the average citizen are much more than pay and receive; people want to save and earn interest.

“They want to participate in pensions; they need some form of insurance, and many more. We also know that for all of this to be realised, there must be adequate security and trust in the system.”

According to him, to get to the targets of the new vision for financial inclusion using MoMo, Onuoha called for collaboration of security agencies and other government agencies, which according to him, would create the right synergy that will secure the payment system, and provide adequate protection to operators as they go about their business.

In her keynote address, Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Aishah Ahmad, said MoMo is vital to CBN as a regulator especially now, penetration of digital economy is on high speed.

Represented by Assistant Director, Payments System Management Department, CBN, Aisha Isa-Olatinwo, she averred that “Since estimated reports show that Nigeria has over 100 million unique mobile numbers, if mobile money operations work, there will be over 100 million subscribers.

CBN agreed that Mobile Money is fast becoming Africa’s legacy to the world, when results from Nigeria and even Kenya’s MPESA are under consideration.

Also speaking, the Academic Director, Lagos Business School, Prof. Olayinka David-West, in her lead paper, titled, “Harnessing New Opportunity Areas for Mobile Money Adoption in Nigeria,” revealed that of the estimated 99.8 million adults in Nigeria, only 3.3 million are mobile money users; and of the 36.8 percent excluded, most are women, noting that more is still needed to be done in terms of awareness.

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