Data and information have become an important driver of economic growth and sustainable development in the 21st Century. They determine the pace and direction of socioeconomic development and influence political choices people make or have to contend with.
Across the globe, data and information determine how, where and with whom people interact, as well as how business is conducted. It is on this premise that at the just-concluded RegTech Africa 2023 conference in Lagos, experts in both financial and technology sectors stressed the importance of articulating data-driven policy for improved security and even development.
Experts speaking at the Regtech Africa 2023 conference recently in Lagos stated that data and information have become an important driver of economic growth and sustainable development in the 21st Century which determine the pace and direction of socioeconomic development and influence political choices.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Elevating National Policy on Financial Inclusion, Consumer Protection and Cybersecurity’, experts from both public and private sectors, canvassed the need for proper data management.
Kashifu Inuwa, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) represented by Usman Abdullahi in the agency, said data protection has become a critical issue in Nigeria and across the globe and the agency is pushing for the protection of consumers while using technology services.
Inuwa said, “the agency is partnering with operators on data privacy and consumer protection, which involves local and international storage of consumer data.”
According to him, NITDA, which played a key role in the drafting of the cybercrime act in 2015, is pushing for a secure and resilient economic environment.
Cyril Okoroigwe, CEO, RegTech Africa, organisers of the event noted the challenge of cybercrime, which has become a key concern that threatens and hinders consumer trust and other global advances in the financial sector.
He said, “harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and regulatory technology will help reduce financial risks, as well as increase regulatory compliance and stamp out laundry and fraud.
The CEO cited that all of which he stated contribute to an estimated amount of $2 trillion yearly loss for the global economy.
Okoroigwe said the conference aims to supervise how governments in neighboring countries are raising the bar in the implementation of policies and strategies intending to set innovative standards for risk management to give clarity and prosperity to the populace.
Lorien Gamaroof, CEO, Centbee, said payment regulation is vital for financial stability, minimising risks, preventing disruptions, protecting consumer interests, fraud and unauthorised transactions.
Gamaroof explain that the global (cross border) payment regulation is essential.
He said that payment regulation is about enabling people and crucial technologies, adding that big data analytics unlocks valuable insights from large volume data.
Discussing on the importance of biometrics for securing identification for credit transactions, he said AI can be used for simplified information, adding that it will be a great tool in detecting data that will help in curbing money laundering and other frauds,
“regulators are not just the police, they are the enablers also.”
Also, Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) represented by Freda Bruce-Bennett, delivered a speech titled, “Elevating National Policy on Financial Inclusion, Consumer Protection and Cybersecurity: Telecommunications Regulator Perspectives,”
Meanwhile, Danbatta said the Commission, which was established under the Nigerian Communications Acts 2003, is charged with the responsibility of developing the communications sector, protection of the rights and interests of service providers, as well as consumers. He said the commission plays a crucial role in expanding the frontiers of financial inclusion in Nigeria, adding that communication technology remains the best enabler for expanding financial inclusion in Nigeria.
“The commission is therefore saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the protection and promoting the means of continuance through safe
and secured networks services,” he stated.