–Digitization of Financial/ Banking Services is the Key. .
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the National InterBank Settlement System (NIBSS) representatives of Commercial Banks of Nigeria and experts on Financials and Banking from the African Continent converged at the 18th Digital PayExpo 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition at the Sheraton Hotel and Suites, Lagos, to discuss a matter of topical importance with a thematic focus on: “Innovative Financial Services for the Vast Unserved Segments.”
This event designed to last three days marked its first day, July 5, 2018 with insightful and in-depth presentations on what Financial inclusion is and, its importance to the social-economic development of Nigeria.
Financial Inclusion is defined as having access to financial services and products no matter where you reside.
Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman/ CEO, NCC while delivering the keynote address through Bashir Idris, Deputy Director, Policy, Competition & Economic Analysis of the Commission, argues that NCC’s commitment towards financial inclusion is evident through the participation and collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and major relevant stakeholders.
“One of the major driving force of the Commission is to provide Universal Access, especially to the underserved and unserved parts of the country. Invariably, this has a link with the overall objective of the National Financial Inclusion Policy ,” Danbatta re-emphasized.
The NCC Boss disclosed that NCC being the telecoms regulator is mandated to ensure the provision of infrastructure, that will enable the flow of other services. In cognizance of the importance of Financial Inclusion, the NCC has established a Desk in the Policy, competition & Economic Analysis (PCEA) Department to anchor and interface with the CBN and other stakeholders in the digital financial ecosystem.
Also realizing the importance of Broadband as an indispensable resource for the actualization of Financial Inclusion and the digitization of the socio-economy of Nigeria, the NCC is Licensing 7 Infracos to provide Broadband penetration for accessibility at affordable rates. So far 5 Infracos have been licensed. This and other support services provided by the UNiversal Service Provision Fund Department of NCC (USPF) to unserved and underserved areas will help close the Communication gaps in existence.
Prof. Danbatta reiterated the Commission’s stand and quest for a robust infrastructure that will continue to support innovative technologies/ services that will enhance the pursuit of excellence and development in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.