Indigenous tech firm, SystemSpecs Limited, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to establish a special fund to deepen its financial inclusion goals.
Its Executive Director, Deremi Atanda, who spoke on the sidelines of Digital Pay Expo in Lagos at the weekend, said there are many issues around the push for financial inclusion, adding that literacy is one of them.
He stressed the imperative for a special fund to drive financial inclusion, adding that the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) is an example of the intervention the Federal Government could make to ease the drive on the lenders.
?I think the banks are committed to financial literacy but it won?t happen in one year. It is a commitment for 2020, which didn?t start yesterday. I have been part of the commitment since 2007. We need to evaluate where we are, so we don?t get derailed, and where we want to be. These are the kind of things we must do. When those targets were set, we have the financial implication of what it will cost, which is not the same now. So, who is going to plug that gap for 2020 dream to be realised? Along the way, there have been many disruptions they didn?t factor in, both the economic aspect and technology.
?The honest truth is that the pervasiveness of technology is going to make the realisation of these things a lot easier, faster but someone needs to be committed to facilitating it. USPF for example (in the telecoms sector), is there (to ensure that the unserved and underserved rural communities are reached through service subsidy). There is need for a commitment in terms of funding to make sure financial inclusion happen. It might interest you that majority of people investing in that are foreign institutions such as the Bill Melinda Foundation and you ask yourself where the counterpart funding is coming from local institutions. The bank has just committed itself to SINEF, which is rolling out about 500, 000 agents, which CBN is also part of.
?But don?t forget that the interface of business with the realisation of national policy, money will go after money. If the agents are just to work to achieve a national policy that will not be economically beneficiary to them, somebody must incentive it so that national objection is realise. It is just a matter of time, when that business is worthwhile and there is a plug in from the right agencies of the government, sooner than you think that will happen,? he said.