Further to its objective of facilitating an innovation and investment friendly fintech environment driven by collaboration for appropriate regulatory frameworks, the Fintech Association of Nigeria recently engaged the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Information and Communications Technology ICT as the delegation of the lower chamber led by the Committee Chairman, Honourable Onawo Mohammed paid an industry consultative visit to the Association.
While Welcoming the participants to the meeting, a Governing Council member of the Association, Bunmi Lawson who chaired the occasion stated that the engagement with the Committee is coming on the heels of earlier engagement the Association had with the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions as the Association believes that legislative inputs are very crucial to creating regulations that would stimulate the ecosystem.
Lawson further stated that the strength of the Association is the diversity of its membership that cuts across all sectors of the economy as she said the Association on a continuous basis is engaging both local and foreign fintech partners with a focus on job creation and making financial services available to those at the bottom of pyramid using technology. According to her “ the Association is not only stimulating fintech growth in Nigeria but also in the rest of Africa as the Association is leading a formation of the African Fintech Network, a Network to which thirteen countries have subscribed to, in order to open up market access and foster cross-border policy window for fintech products as exportable goods”
Making his remarks, the Chairman of the House of Representative Committee on ICT, Hon. Onawo Mohammed alluded to the fact that such engagement with the industry is long overdue as he stated that the visit was better late than never. According to him, his Committee sees it a necessity to engage the industry as a partner in progress in order to bridge the gaps between the industry and legislator, regulators, and government. He further stated that a partnership of this nature is very pivotal to promoting home-grown solutions as he believes the country has enough talents and creativity to solve its peculiar challenges if innovation is adequately encouraged and supported. In his words “since regulation always evolves, key actors need to regularly engage to review the existing regulation and perhaps create new regulation to meet the demands of a dynamic and thriving ecosystem like Fintech”
The meeting then went into an interactive session where various issues bothering on funding for startups, incentivisation for innovators, friendly licensing and regulatory regime, tax rebate, infrastructural development amongst others were raised as key areas of concern the Legislator needs to intervene in the best interest of the economy.
It was concluded that the Association would be delivering a position paper on the state of fintechs in Nigeria at an upcoming ICT Roadmap conference to be held in Porthacourt from October 10th to 11th 2018. The conference that would bring together all players in the Nigerian technology space including the regulators, government agencies, and ministries, the legislator, the judiciary, industry players, foreign partners would be chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.