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The Reasons Digitization in Financial Sector in Nigeria may suffer setbacks!

ByNews Editor

Mar 5, 2024

By Oladotun F. Olumuyiwa

For some times now, the Nigeria lawmakers have raised an indicting case against Binance- a globally recognised, crypto platform. Since then, it has been all over the news, which eventually led to the final exit of this platform from the Nigerian market.

The exit of Binance is an indication that in terms of digitization as a country, we are seriously far behind and likely remain behind for a very long time. I know a lot of people would say economic crunch was the cause. Yes, that was also part of it.

In fact, there are tons of intertwined issues we must look into as a nation, if we desire to meet up with the current globalization.

Having a badly corrupt system is also the bane. The corrupt tendencies of the citizens have led to several abusive use of such platforms like Binance, PayPal etc. that were originally meant to create ease of transactions for businesses thereby promoting digitization of products and services.

The deeper we plunge into corrupt practices, the more we would lose economic benefits that come with foreign investments particularly as regards Fintech. Things can only change for the better, if as a people, we have a rethink and be decisive about some of these critical areas where we need a change of attitude.

And just to remind us, Nigeria isn’t the only country with corrupt citizens. Corruption is a global phenomenon with countless of uncovered cases across the globe, many of which have been linked to developed climes. However, Nigeria having been amongst the developing nations yet faced with hydra headed monster called corruption, makes it a serious challenge towards achieving sustainable development.

Just to quickly refresh our memories, those who are conversant with the Fintech, would recall it took the intervention from different quarters before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari would permit the cryptocurrency transaction with Naira. And yes, the apex bank could have substantial reasons for the outright refusal of cryptocurrency into the Nigeria market, initially.

However, the CBN concerns with crypto platform wasn’t properly and adequately communicated. Hence, most Nigerians assumed the traditional Financial institutions such as Zenith, GTB, UBA etc felt threatened knowing they might lose both their existing and potential customers to the new waves of digitization in financial sector.

I also recall the struggles between the old Financial institutions in Nigeria and the new generation Fintech platforms such as OPAY, New Monies, PalmPay amongst others which still hasn’t ended till today.

Till today, several propaganda have continually trailed some of the digital banking platforms to the point that most of their subscribers still nurse the fear of losing their hard earned monies while banking with these platforms.

The existing competition between the old financial institutions and emerging digital banking platforms is one issue that must be properly addressed if we are to scale up as a nation, in order to take our rightful position amongst the comity of nations regarding digitalization.

Sadly, Nigeria having been adjudged the emerging economy in Africa, yet faced with myriads of economic challenges particularly this existing one facing her financial sector, will continue to undermine her potentials to rule the continent like the true ‘Giant of Africa” that she is!

Nonetheless, true change will never be fully embraced by the non-progressives (the top beneficiaries of the old systems), however, the progressives must never back down too in challenging the status quo, if that is all it would take to salvage the financial sector, then so be it.

News Editor

Our News Editor, Muyiwa is an information management expert and Development Blogger with more than a decade experience in investigative reporting and journalism. He is passionate about human angle stories to all social issues in Nigeria and Africa.