Stakeholders at the Techpoint Inspired 2018 programme have called on financial institutions and Deposit Money Banks to reduce transaction charges by 50 per cent in a bid to increase the number of financially included people.
With about 60 per cent of Nigerians remaining unbanked, the stakeholders sought collaborations among operators to achieve 90 per cent financial inclusion in one year.They added that inclusion will allow individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.
The conference theme: “The Future is Now”, which was organized by Techpremier Media Limited, publishers of Techpoint.ng, attracted over 5000 participants from different parts of Nigeria, and other Africa countries.Area Head, West Africa, Mastercard, Omoke Adebanjo, said banks and Fintechs should increase collaboration to spark further innovation in the financial sector, adding that tackling financial inclusions will be a win-win situation for banks and financial institutions as they pursue a common goal.
Divisional Head, Transactional Banking, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Rolayo Akhigbe, noted that improved education and pragmatic sensitisation will drive innovations further in Nigeria and upturn Africa’sstaggering economy.Speaking on creating a sustainable future, Akhigbe said young tech firms should conceive disruptive ideas to lay a solid foundation for tomorrow in education, e-commerce and the media.
“People now spend more time and money online, which has shifted business emphasis to digital sources of revenue and digital channels. The financial industry still requires startups to innovate on tackling issues around financial inclusion.Tech business is not about now but the future. It is one thing to have a disruptive idea, and another to be successful executing it,” she added.
She noted that there is the comparative advantage of doing tech business in Nigeria because of the population demographics, which includes more of the young ones that can grow with time and new innovations.Akhigbe stressed that startups must understand the key elements of funding, staffing, legal, marketing and operation required to build businesses that stand the test of time.
Founder, Techpoint.ng and convener of the event, Adewale Yusuf, said the platform was borne out of the need to explore tech-trends that will shape the economy’s future in the years ahead.“Unemployment is skyrocketing, therefore, as a people we need to pay attention to the right solutions. That is why this event was conveyed to trigger interests to topics around robotics, machine learning and robotics. It is not like there are no jobs but the skills are few. To make matter worse, the few skilled ones are poached by international companies. Techpoint Inspired has come to address those issues”, Yusuf said.
Meanwhile, Senior Fellow and Director, Centre for Leadership in Journalism, SMC, Pan-Atlantic University, Dr. Richard Ikiebe, said young people are known for creativity which is in connection with the conference theme.
“This also brings us to the issue around education; it is very paramount in everything we are talking about today, whether formal or informal.Education triggers something in us and looks for ways to affect our community because no nation survives without it.
“Also, for you young people to be specialists in the technology world you must put your mind to work, seek knowledge, display passion and master the niche you have carved for yourself. Though knowledge is limited, but you have opportunity to reinvent them”, Ikiebe charged the participants. General Manager of MDXi, a subsidiary of MainOne West Africa, Gbenga Adegbiji, stressed that connectivity is at the heart of digital economy where young techs are playing key role.
“MDXi recognizes this, which informed our long-term investment plan to inspire a new generation of technology innovator who wouldn’t find it difficult to access infrastructure of ride on and reach the world. Thus, our activities align with inspiring people in the SMEs space to be the best they can be,” Adegbiji said.Techpoint Inspired is an annual event that provides a unique platform for industry leaders such as CTOs and CIOs, visionaries, innovators to meet and inspire those who want to break through and see their ideas as reality.