• Monday, May 20, 2024
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NGX Group says committed to Nigeria’s sustainable development

CardinalStone, Stanbic lead as 10 firms trade stocks worth N1.02trn in 4 months

Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) has restated its commitment to harnessing the power of fintech and collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to contribute significantly to driving the sustainable development of the Country and closing the financial inclusion gap.

Umaru Kwairanga, Group Chairman, NGX Group stated this at the Nigeria Fintech & Financial Inclusion Roundtable 2024 held on Friday, April 26, 2024, in Lagos.

Speaking on the topic titled ‘The Role of Fintech and Financial Inclusion in Citizen Empowerment and Economic Growth’, Kwairanga noted that Nigeria’s financial inclusion rates had improved, yet still fell short of the targets adopted in the country’s 2012 national financial inclusion strategy and the revised NFIS 2018.

“As of 2021, financial inclusion stands at 64.1 percent, according to EFInA’s findings,” Kwairanga stated. “While commendable progress has been made, projections by KPMG indicate it could take about 40 years to reach a 10 percent financial exclusion rate, given the average reduction over the past decade.”

He noted that “the banking sector’s efforts have been complemented by non-banking institutions like Fintech, Mobile Money, Payment Service Banks, and supporting initiatives such as SANEF and digital IDs.
“However, challenges persist, particularly in closing the gaps for the youth, those with low educational attainment or income, and the urban-rural divide, where only 56 percent are financially included in rural areas, higher than peer countries and the Sub-Saharan Africa region.”

Kwairanga stated that “despite these challenges, Nigeria has been at the forefront of the meteoric rise of fintech in Africa, fueled by a young and dynamic population, rapid smartphone adoption, a focused regulatory drive to increase financial inclusion and cashless transactions, and ample funding from venture capital.”
NGX Group chairman emphasized that Nigerian fintechs had secured over $1 billion since 2018, and the country also led the unicorn counts in Africa with four out of seven, namely Interswitch, Flutterwave, OPay, and Andela.

“This is evident in the strong growth seen in Nigerian payments. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, total electronic payment transactions in 2022 hit an astonishing N1,550 trillion, a remarkable 2,572 per cent rise from N58 trillion in 2017.”

According to him, NGX Group is strategically focused on leveraging this fintech success in the capital market. Recognizing the potential of fintech in boosting retail investor participation, the Group aims to ensure that the average Nigerian benefits from the myriad of opportunities available for wealth creation in the capital market.

“We are also collaborating with technology companies and partners to develop a state-of-the-art platform to support digital public offerings. Our track record in this area is commendable, as we saw over 150,000 new retail investors participate in the capital market during the MTN public offering in 2021.”

He commended the efforts of policymakers and regulators, particularly the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in creating an enabling regulatory environment that fosters innovation while safeguarding consumer protection and financial stability, saying that “public-private partnerships will be crucial in developing and implementing strategies to promote financial literacy and digital skills, ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital revolution.”