The NITDA’s Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, stressed that Nigeria is doing well in the Fintech sector and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), particularly with the use of the developmental regulation strategy and enabling policies toward co-creating the tech ecosystem..
At the ongoing GITEX 2022’s side event, the Digital Finance Summit, Inuwa made this statement.
As more than 35% of direct investments to Africa came to Nigeria in 2021, the Director-General said that this was a record year for tech startups in Nigeria. However, he stressed that this achievement was not due to publicity but rather to structural design.
“In 2019, the President reorganized and expanded our ministry to include the digital economy, and the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami developed the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a digital Nigeria; this created the foundation for the tech ecosystem in Nigeria,” said Inuwa.
According to Inuwa, FinTech has helped move so many people out of poverty.
“Between 2017 to 2019, we have seen in Nigeria where farmers access money from the government and also, during the COVID-19, a lot of people could not access the released funds and when you deliver it using cash, it costs much”.
“The start-ups are doing fantastically well, but also the government needs to level the playing field for them to plan better”, the DG remarked.
He went further to stress that government needs to work with the United Nations, World Bank, and others to see how they can help build the infrastructures for the Fintech in order to reach the unreachable to be connected. Moreso, the NITDA Boss told the audience that the Start-up Bill which has been passed by the National Assembly and awaiting Presidential assent will address almost if not all the challenges plaguing the tech ecosystem.
Responding to questions regarding Nigeria’s efforts to entrench the Environmental, Social and Governance ESG, Inuwa explained that the Federal Government has been working assiduously towards creating a conducive environment for startups to thrive, as the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy formulated several policies to help drive the digital economy.
“The policies are Startups ecosystem friendly” when we talk about the digital economy, we need three keys to drive it which include Digital Identity, Payment System, and Connectivity”
“We have other policies tailored towards the bigger picture, like the National Broadband Plan, Digital Identity Policy, and the National Financial Policy which drives the financial inclusion in the country”, Inuwa maintained.
He avowed that the Agency’s developmental regulation is to safeguard the providers as much as consumers.
“Without the enabling environment, the ESG alone can not help them because the ESG sometimes, we see it as self-centric because as a provider when you come up with any self-regulation or ESG, you do it in a way that would enable you to excel”
“The government looks at technology beyond seeing just a capitalist or a consumer, we work with the ecosystem in a way that gives them the opportunity to develop new indigenous solutions that have a global impact.”, the DG added.