Filed in News by on April 13, 2011

Financial reforms outside ICT will fail — Onuegbu
On April 13, 2011 · · In Technology

As the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, embark on series of reforms in the financial sector, an expert in the ICT sector of the economy, Mr Collins Onuegbu has advised that bulk of the reforms ride on the ICT programmes and applications to stand the test of time. Onuegbu who is the CEO of Signal Alliance, an end-to-end IT company with core competencies in systems integration and software apps, said that whether the reforms are in International Financial Reporting Standards, the implementation of the mobile money model, among others, they require sound IT framework to succeed or the country risks failure of such reforms.

According to him, there are a lot of products in the ICT sector that can support banks in their quest to support investments in the entertainment, agricultural or other sectors of the economy as they are recently seen to be aiming at.

However, he also stated that for ICT to always provide the backbone to other sectors, it must also rise above the level it is at the moment and advised that the only way to do that was for companies to adopt best practice in implementation and usage of ICT product and services.

For him, best practices were the only way various ICT initiatives might help automate the way things are done in the 21st century.

Making these comments in an interactive session with a select ICT journalists in Lagos recently, Onuegbu, said that “for the Central Bank of Nigeria and Securities and Exchange Commission to realise the full potential of the financial sector reforms, the entire system must be run on a seamless information technology framework”.

According to him, local support for IT industries, especially for the Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, should be expanded and be more encouraging through various incentive mechanisms, because “

there is no way the Nigerian financial sector would tap into global opportunities if players and other shareholders did not commit huge investments to IT”.

He noted that IT would effectively thrive on available infrastructure and that there was the need for aggressive infrastructural development in the financial sector.

For him the infrastructural sharing initiative among banks recently proposed by the CBN, might not yield the desired result if relevant technological applications were not brought to bear.

Onuegbu, however, said that cost minimisation in the financial sector was a factor that must be given the required attention, given the recent financial crisis that crumbled most global financial markets.


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