The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta has maintained that the commission is in no way averse to supporting the dynamism of financial inclusion service provision. Dambatta also said that economic development of Nigeria could only be facilitated and accelerated by the presence of infrastructure. The EVC made these revelations at the Digital PayExpo 2018 held at Eko Hotel, and Business Journal 10th Anniversary Lecture and Award which took place at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, all in Lagos. CYRIACUS NNAJI reports.
While speaking on a paper titled “Enabling Financial Inclusion: A multi-Agency Approach”, at the PayExpo, Dambatta stated that NCC has been actively involved and committed to the implementation of the Federal Government’s National Financial Inclusion Implementation target of 80% of adult Nigerians by 2020. This, he said, is very evident through NCC’s participation and collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN]. He said one of the major driving force of the Commission is to provide Universal Access, especially to the underserved and unserved parts of the country, saying this has a link with the overall objective of the National Financial Inclusion.
He said NCC has established a Financial Inclusion Desk in the Policy, Competition & Economic Analysis [PCEA] Department to anchor and interface with the CBN and other stakeholders in the digital financial ecosystem on all policy and regulatory issues regarding Financial Inclusion.
“A National Financial Inclusion Secretariat was established and is resident in the CBN, to coordinate the activities of the Nigerian National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) that was launched on 23rd October, 2012 with the overall objective of reducing the percentage of adult Nigerians excluded from financial services from 46.3% reported in 2010 to 20% by 2020,” Dambatta added.
He said a multi stakeholder approach was adopted for the implementation of the NFIS. As such, an active collaboration with various Private Sector organizations and Ministries, Departments and Agencies [MDA] of Government such as; CBN, NIPOST, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigerian Deposit Insurance
Also addressing guests at the occasion of Business Journal tenth anniversary, Dambatta said that economic development of Nigeria could only be facilitated and accelerated by the presence of infrastructure.
Dambatta who was represented by Mr. Edoyemi Ogo, Assistant Director (Technical Standards) NCC, spoke on the theme ‘Infrastructure and Economic Growth: Exploring the Strategic Alliance’. He said that telecommunication was an infrastructure industry that contributes to all economic growth drivers in one way or the other.
He said that the liberalisation and deregulation in the telecom sector placed Nigeria in a position to increase the contribution of the industry to overall GDP.
He added that the World Bank had found out that a 10 percent increase in broadband penetration in developing countries results in a commensurable increase of 1.38 percent in GDP.
Danbatta also said that the telecom sector contribution to Nigerian GDP had increased from less than 1 per cent in 2001 to about 8.66 percent in December 2017.
On his part, Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian NCC, Tony Ojobo, speaking at the PayExpo, stressed the gains derivable from a digitized economy.
Speaking on a paper titled “Drive towards Digital Economy: The Journey So Far” he said Digital economy means the worldwide network of economic activities, commercial transactions and professional interactions that are enabled by information and communications technologies (ICT).
According to him, “It′s the economic activity that results from billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data, and processes.”