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We were in Nigeria for the latest in our TBY Global Roundtable Series, gathering top industry names on the topic Fintech and the Digitalization of Banking in Nigeria. The event was co-hosted by TBY and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Leading global media and research firm TBY organized an exclusive event at the Eko Hotel & Suites on August 7, 2017, entitled “Harnessing Digitalization in Nigeria's Financial Sector," in conjuction with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Leland Rice, TBY's Editor-in-Chief, moderated a debate with Mr. Oscar Onyema, CEO of the Nigeria Stock Exchange; Mr. Uzome Dozie, CEO of Diamond Bank; Tayo Oviosu, CEO of PAGA; Juliet Nwanguma, Country Manager of PayU; Valentin Obi, CEO of eTranzact; and Muda Yusuf, Director General of LCCI.
Reducing costs and driving client-oriented innovation were at the center of the discussion, with attendees engaging in a lively discussion over the role of banks and regulators to streamline financial transactions.
According to Mr. Dozie, in the last 20 years the banking sector has evolved and adjusted to market conditions, stating, “It took Diamond Bank 23 years to acquire 7 million customers using 300 branches and in the last two years it took no branches to acquire another 7 million customers by partnership and collaboration."
Digital infrastructure is thus a necessary tool to merge the needs of financial institutions and clients. Mr. Obi agrees on the progress of the Nigerian banking sector, and insisted on the excessive costs of a cash-based economy and the importance of data in providing financing tools.
He expressed, “How we analyze the data will help in the situation of lending." On the same note, Mr. Onyema added, “We have to find new ways to provide capital to firms that are looking for equity", to which Mr. Oviosu answered that providing capital needs to go through implementation of a distribution network that accesses the mass market.
TBY and the speakers also discussed the role of fintech companies and their relationships with banks and the role of regulators. On the matter, Ms. Nwanguma admitted the need for fintech companies and banks to cooperate since they both need each other, emphasizing banks' role in working with end-users and fintech companies' role in developing payment processing technologies. Collaboration with the regulators is also deemed to be crucial, as new fintech actors are unable to grow and operate in the long-term without rules of engagement.
Innovation has to be sustained, creating a scheme of tax incentives and facilitating access to financing, especially for SMEs. Financing channels are thus a priority, but Mr. Yusuf argued that technology needs to be implemented cautiously, as it might disrupt jobs.
On the other side of the spectrum, Mr. Dozie reasserted the essential role technology and digitalization play in streamlining lending structures and expanding lines of business, which eventually leads to jobs creation. The continued debate among the guest speakers was further witness to the relevance the subject holds in Nigeria in both the financial and technological world.
Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos
1415 Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
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Uzoma Dozie has had a career in banking spanning over 20 years, eight of which he has acted in an executive director capacity in the credit, marketing, strategic planning, financial control, corporate banking, and retail banking. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Reading. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Chemical Research from University College, London, in 1992. He later obtained an MBA in Finance in 1998, having begun his career in 1993 at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
Country Manager Nigeria
Valentine Obi is CEO of eTransact.
Oscar Onyema was appointed CEO of the NSE and a member of the National Council in April 2011. He has 20 years' experience in both US financial markets and the Nigerian information technology sector. He is Chairman of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) PLC, President of the African Securities Exchanges Association, and a Global Agenda Council member of the World Economic Forum. He also serves on the boards of all subsidiaries of the exchange, the National Pension Commission of Nigeria, and FMDQ OTC. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, has an MBA from Baruch College, and a BSc from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Tayo Oviosu is the founder & CEO of Paga Nigeria. He has over 13 years of experience in a variety of technical and business roles in high-tech and private equity. Most recently, he was vice president at Travant Capital Partners. Previously he was a manager in corporate development at Cisco Systems in San Jose California. Prior to Cisco, he was a senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting in the CRM and technology departments. He earned his bachelors of science degree in electrical engineering, cum laude, from the University of Southern California. He also has an MBA from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
Muda Yusuf is the Director General of LCCI. He holds degrees in economics from the University of Ilorin and the University of Lagos. Passionate about private sector development and a strong private sector advocate, he has played active roles in public private partnerships on all levels of government. He has led engagement sessions to ensure appropriate reforms for the advancement of the Nigerian economy and private sector development. In addition to attending the Advanced Management Programme of the Lagos Business School, he was a delegate to the Commonwealth Business Forum in 2011 and a member of the delegation to the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Cancún, Mexico.