Nigerian payment and human resources technology provider, System- Specs, has backed calls by stakeholders in the country’s business ecosystem for increased broadband penetration to deepen financial inclusion as a means of social and economic transformation in the country.
SystemSpecs’ Executive Director, ‘Deremi Atanda, stated this when he served as a speaker at the annual Bullion Lecture, organised by the Centre for Financial Journalism (CFJ), which held virtually and physically at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
According to a 2018 World Bank report, financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs, including payments, savings and credit in a responsible and sustainable way. A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report states that a one per cent increase in financial inclusion increases real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita by 3.6 per cent.
“We must continue to focus on those things we regard as national issues. If we say financial inclusion is an opportunity to bring the economically disadvantaged persons into the economic network that can improve their lives, then it should be at the forefront of all we do,” Atanda said. He said that although the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other relevant governmentagencieshaddonealotin improvingfinancialinclusion, there is still a lot to be done.
Atanda noted that clear answers to the hard questions must be provided. According to him, “How do we leverage technology to make sure that disadvantaged Nigerians can have their quality of lives improved and a sense of belonging as Nigerians? What are the strategies to ensure that the average Nigerian can be economically empowered?” Strongly recommending that stakeholders begin to more actively consider the country’s burgeoning Fin- Tech community as a key contributor to the attainment of the desired financial inclusion goals, he said the digital economy is an enabler of social transformation and economic empowerment.
Analysing the interception between broadband penetration and financial inclusion as well as the consequence on socio-economic improvement, Atanda said: “As we deepen the collaboration between stakeholders within and outside government, we need to know what has worked what is not working and what needs to be done differently. “I think there is still a lot more to be done. The engagement of regulators and nongovernmental stakeholders should be very clear and be continuously progressive