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NCC seeks collaborative efforts to strengthen Nigeria’s payment system

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The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has highlighted the paramount importance of collaborative efforts to fortify the nation’s payment system.

Speaking at the 2023 annual conference of the Finance Correspondent Association of Nigeria (FICAN), themed “Strengthening Digital Infrastructure for Efficient Innovative Payment Systems in Nigeria,” the Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta, underscored the need for multifaceted cooperation to drive innovation and efficiency in Nigeria’s evolving payment landscape.

Represented by a Deputy Director at the commission, Anthony Ikemefuna, the NCC chief Danbatta asserted that the endeavor to enhance digital infrastructure and foster innovative payment systems in Nigeria demands a long-term commitment marked by collaboration, investment, and adaptability.

He noted that by addressing these strategies comprehensively and proactively, Nigeria can cultivate a robust and inclusive digital payment ecosystem, benefiting its citizens and propelling economic growth.

Central to the NCC’s vision is the reinforcement of collaborative efforts between the NCC and financial regulators, particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Danbatta stressed the importance of coordinating policies and regulations related to digital payments and telecommunications to create a conducive regulatory environment conducive to innovation and growth.

Furthermore, the NCC emphasized the necessity of fostering partnerships between financial institutions, telecom operators, and fintech companies to develop and deliver innovative digital payment solutions.

The commission also urged the nation to leverage the expertise and resources of the private sector to expand and enhance digital infrastructure.

In his address, Danbatta called upon the government to play a leading role in promoting digital payments by setting a clear vision and providing support.

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He advocated for the implementation of e-government initiatives to encourage digital payments for public services and benefit distribution.

The Head of Digital Banking at the United Bank for Africa, Olukayode Olubiyi, echoed the call for collaboration among stakeholders, including financial institutions, fintech companies, government entities, and regulatory bodies.

He emphasized that policy, regulation, and collaboration are pivotal elements in the success of innovative solutions in the Nigerian financial services sector.

Olubiyi pointed out that inadequate infrastructure poses one of the most significant challenges to Nigeria’s electronic payment system, citing issues such as the lack of operational telecommunications facilities and an unstable power supply.

He stressed the importance of a collaborative effort among industry stakeholders to address these challenges, including expanding internet connectivity and streamlining electronic transfers.

To mitigate fraud, Olubiyi urged the government, private sector organizations, and international partners to collaborate on cybersecurity efforts. He emphasized the importance of sharing intelligence and pooling resources to combat cybercrime effectively.

The National Chairman of FICAN, Chima Nwokoji emphasized the need for banks and fintech companies to expand their digital infrastructure while making it more sophisticated to ensure seamless transactions and fund safety.

He referenced a recent World Bank report that highlighted the inadequacy of Nigeria’s digital and financial infrastructure to support a swift transition to a cashless economy, underscoring the urgency for proactive measures and innovative solutions in the country’s payment system.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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