The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE has emphasized that Nigeria is doing pretty well in the Fintech industry and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) especially with the application of developmental regulation approach and enabling policies by the Federal Government toward co-creating the tech ecosystem.
Inuwa said this at the Digital Finance Summit, a sideline event of the ongoing Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX 2022).
While noting that 2021 was a record year for tech Startups in Nigeria as more than 35 percent of direct investments to Africa came to Nigeria, the Director-General added that the achievement was not by publicity but by structural design.
“In 2019, the President redesignated and expanded our ministry to cover digital economy and the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) formulated the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a digital Nigeria; that set the stage for the tech ecosystem in Nigeria”, Inuwa noted.
According to Inuwa, the FinTech has helped in moving 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 startups 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 governments need 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 and connect to unconnectable.
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 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. 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 opportunity to develop new indigenous solutions that have global impact.”, the DG added.