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Nigeria fintech startups account for 35% of $4 bln capital raised in 2021 by African tech firms

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Nigeria’s fintech startups accounted for 35 percent of the total of $4 billion capital raised by technology driven businesses across the continent in 2021, according Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday.

Speaking at the commission of the new Bankers House in Abuja, Osinbajo said the country has six unicons, tech companies valued at over $ 1billion, noting that all the companies “started after 2015, and have grown between two recessions.”

“In 2021 African tech startups raised over $4 billion in funding, with over 564 startups across the continent solving critical problems in almost every sector. Nigeria accounted for 35 percent of this.

“Nigeria today has six unicorns, tech companies valued at over $1 billion. All of them started after 2015, and have grown between two recessions,” the VP stated.

Osinbajo commended the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), president, Bayo Olugbemi, alongside the executive and management of the institute, noting that the commissioning of the Bankers House was clear testament of the “towering expression of enduring commitment to excellence” and “power of a collective vision in driving significant accomplishment.

“This is why we put such great premium on the resourcefulness and strength of our private sector.”

He added that “the CIBN’s role in the private sector cannot be overstated. In laying the parameters for professional and ethical conduct, healthy competition, and continuous professional development, it has helped to guide the evolution of a banking industry that has grown to become the envy of the continent.”

In his opening address, Olugbemi said the new edifice being commissioned represents a captivating story of utmost significance, in that the attainment of this feat is a fulfillment of a dream long conceived.

Going down the memory lane, the CIBN president said when the seat of government moved to Abuja in 1991, the Institute became desirous of establishing its presence at the FCT.

“Since then, several attempts were made at acquiring land or landed properties in the FCT but the efforts were frustrated by disputes on the various properties especially those statutorily allocated to the Institute by government.

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“Not discouraged by these challenges, the Institute doggedly forged ahead in its quest for a presence in the FCT. The result of the various initiatives that were engaged is what culminated in the purchase and development of the edifice we are commissioning this morning,”Olugbemi said.

According to him, the new Bankers house will house The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Abuja Office and The Permanent Secretariat of the Alliance of African Institute of Bankers (AAIOB), a Body which has been in existence for about Twenty-five years; developing and promoting acceptable banking and finance education, examinations and certification standards among its members on the African Continent.

He said  the building which will be equipped with state-of-the-art ICT facilities will feature a Learning/Incubation hub, a banking hall, multi purpose hall and a training facility sponsored by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) which will be available for use by various organisations for the training of their staff.

“Spaces are available for branding and I want to call on the banks and other corporate bodies to pick up available spaces to project their brands,” he said.

Olugbemi said the Institute as the conscience of the Industry has continued to foster the observance of ethics and professionalism among practitioners in the banking industry.

“We will not leave any stone unturned towards ensuring that all banks and bankers imbibe and abide by the expected ethical standards of the profession.

“The protection of Consumers of Banking Products and Services is very important to us, this we promise to keep in focus continually.

“We have worked very closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers Committee on the implementation of the Competency Framework, ensuring that fit and proper persons occupy various positions in the banking industry.

“The Institute also recently launched a new syllabus for the training of professional bankers. This new syllabus is fortified and enriched with contents that are contemporary and that addresses emerging issues in the world of banking and finance and has been adjudged by stakeholders within and outside the country as robust, revolutionary, rich in content, fit for purpose and in line with best global standards,” he said,.

He said on the Global space, the Institute is taking fontline position in advancing and developing the banking and finance profession with its role in the Global Banking Education Standards Board (GBEStB) where a Past President of the Institute, Segun Aina is the pioneer and current Chairman of the global body.

Bearing in mind that, Olugbemi said the future belongs to the young generation, the Institute has embarked on a Mentoring scheme to help young professionals get career mentorship from more senior and experienced professionals towards ensuring the safety, soundness, and sustainability of the banking industry in Nigeria and beyond.

The Institute also, as part of its commitment to improving the teaching and learning of banking and finance in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, has instituted learning legacy projects in six higher Institutions in Nigeria, one per geo-political zone.

The construction of the lecture theatres code named Bankers Hall is near completion in Ibadan, Owerri and Bauchi, while work will commence in Kano, Nasarawa and Port Harcourt shortly.

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