From left to right, Charles Onwuatugwu, Reuben Morka, Dr. Ezekiel Oseni, Eng. Austin Nwaulume and Tunde Umar Daniah.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The Airport hotel Ikeja played host to an annual conference organised by the Finance and Business Online Publishers Association (FiBOP) which had its theme as Harnessing Fintech For Economic Growth And Development.
The president of the association, Mr. Charles Onwuatugwu in his opening address said that the group is geared towards informed, analytical and balanced reportage as well as capacity building in the area of business and finance reporting.
The men at the high table.
The keynote address was delivered by the representative of the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, the representative is Engineer Austin Nwaulume who opined that “A lot of financial and business information and services now take place through the mobile phone with the aid of internet mobile services with accompanying uses provided through mobile telecommunication. He said “Financial technology is the new technology that seek to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. Due to the enormous capabilities of the information technology, the financial sector has latched on to it to provide the innovative digital and financial services and this is termed financial technology or FINTECH”.
Eng. Nwaulume noted that there are 26,000 FINTECH start-ups worldwide out of which 6,630 are in India and 10,755 in America. In China, it was discovered that FINTECH streamlined the loan application process allowing borrowers to assess loans more quickly thereby alroundly improving the ability of SMEs to obtain loans at the right time. He said that this method can be borrowed by Nigera. Engineer Nwaulume noted that “The Nigeria FINTECH revenue is expected to reach $543.3 million in this year, a probable growth from the $453.1 million made in 2021”.
Participants listening attentively to the presentations.
The guest speaker at the occassion, Dr. Ezekiel Oseni who is the president of Risk Managers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) in his presentation said that “We are presently promoting a cashless economy, hence the relevance of this conference in promoting the tenents of this policy”. He added that “As Risk managers, we should be supportive of innovations and creativity in business process, we should be supportive of innovation in products and service delivery and more importantly in customer satisfaction”. He noted that one of the areas that innovation has become more apparent is the financial services sector.
Dr. Oseni said that FINTECH provides the needed expedient, effecient and convenient financial transactions at the touch of a button. He noted that there may be some risk attendant to the operation of FINTECH like data privacy and protection issues as the private data of the individual may be stolen and assess gained. He added that also, the case of regulatory risk may come in as state authorities may decide to break down the entity if it feels that the business is becoming too big for the government. There is also a risk of underfunding as the Fintech provider may not have the needed assess to financial instruments required to build the business.
The president of FiBOP, Charles Onwuatugwu making his presentation.
The RIMAN president advised that the mitigation of these risks can be achieved through intelligence, the need to implement a robust and effective firewall account to secure all your data cannot be overemphasized and also same for all emails and other online information platforms.
He chastised that one should also ensure that he/she uses upgrade versions of the platform software and also to use multifactor authentication and to get rid of unwanted softwares. It is not enough to block any unwanted messages or software applications, but one can report, then block the messenger from reaching you. He added that one needs to educate his or her stakeholders, the customers, employees and all others not to share their personal information like the Biometric Verification Number (BVN), their National Identification number (NIN) or other information without these being asked for by the handling institution.
The risk management expert advises that one can improve his or her anti-money laundry procedures and do the know your customer process rather diligently to protect oneself as well as the customer and that the business owner should also monitor user behaviour so that he does not run foul of the law. In the process of carrying out the business, the business owner should as a matter of real importance know what the regulator requires of you in terms of your responsibilities and to keep abreast with all technological development. He advises that all computer servers should be secure and all wireless network given proper protection.
The participants who spoke to us after the event said that it was a richly rewarding experience at the session and hope that more of such conferences are organised. Most were pretty much grateful to the organisers for such an initiative.
The guest speaker, Dr. Oseni spoke to us after the programme and said that it is imperative that everybody understands the importance of financial technology in relation to the cashless economy policy of the government of Nigeria and he hopes that this conference has been impactful. He noted that though FINTECH in Nigeria is still at the entry level, but that it is steadily growing in proportion.
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