About $400m has been invested in fintech firms in the country in 2019, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Central Bank Governor, Emefiele, who disclosed this said this development was part of initiatives to drive financial inclusion in the banking sector.

Emefiele said, “In an effort to build a more inclusive financial system and to improve the efficacy of monetary policy tools, we provided 15 super-agent licenses as well as three Payment Service Bank licences to telecommunications and fintech companies.

“These measures are aiding in the development of a robust payment infrastructure and an expansion of agent locations across the country. As a result of our policy measures, in 2019, over $400m have been invested in fintech companies, focused on supporting improved payment services in Nigeria.”

With the entrance of new players into the payment services market and the strengthening of the financial 16 networks, he said, a growing number of underserved Nigerians had access to cost effective banking services. The CBN governor also said, as part of the Bank’s priorities for 2020, it is determined to maintain its stable exchange policy stance in the near to medium term, given the relatively high level of reserves.

He said the Bank would also sustain these efforts in 2020 as part of its plan to reduce financial exclusion rate to under 20 per cent over the next year. The governor said the Bank would also improve access to credit for farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises by deepening its intervention efforts through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme and the Real Sector Support Funds, among others.

He said the Bank, in pushing to improve access to finance and credit, would protect them from unfair banking and lending practices by maintaining oversight on the banks and other financial institutions.

While disclosing that the Bank, working with the fiscal authorities, would support the recovery of the economy, the CBN Governor reiterated that Nigeria is open to business and urged investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Nigeria. He assured that investments in Nigeria would be duly protected by the authorities.

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