We must leverage technology in the capital market for financial inclusion – SEC | The Guardian Nigeria News

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called on capital market players to leverage technology to improve financial inclusion in order to reach the untapped market.

The commission’s chief executive, Mr. Lamido Yuguda, made the call in a keynote address at the 2021 annual workshop of the Association of Nigerian Capital Market Correspondents (CAMCAN).

The event took place in Lagos on Saturday.

Yuguda, represented by Mr. Temidayo Obisan, Executive Commissioner of Operations, SEC, noted that the Nigeria Communications Commission reported that there are over 191 million and 140 million active mobile and active data subscribers, respectively. in Nigeria in October.

He said leveraging the technology would provide a cost-effective way to reach the untapped market, especially people in rural areas.

According to him, this will simplify the means of serving existing customers.

“Financial institutions are increasingly using electronic channels to onboard customers and respond to customer inquiries and deliver financial product offerings to potential users.

“The use of technology in the offering of capital market instruments has increased, helping to reduce the inefficiencies of the past and boost the liquidity and diversity of holdings of capital market instruments.

“In addition, technology makes access to credit much faster and easier,” he said.

The chief executive said it became possible to access credit in seconds using USSD services or a mobile banking app.

“Many fund managers are also using technology to offer investment products to investors in a transparent way,” he said.

Leveraging technology to deliver financial services, he said, has an advantage over traditional means because it breaks geographic constraints and lowers the cost of providing financial transactions.

He added that it involved little to no infrastructure costs and offered the greatest reach.

He said: “Financial inclusion is about providing adults with access to financial products and services. These include savings, payments, capital markets, pension and insurance products and services.

“Access to financial services gives families the opportunity to invest in education and health and ultimately translates into a better standard of living.

“It also allows businesses to grow, create jobs and reduce unemployment. “

Yuguda noted that a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigeria SME Development Agency (SMEDAN) in 2017 indicated that more than 41.5 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were operating in the country.

“The impact of these MSMEs’ access to formal financial services would be significant in terms of contributing to GDP growth, employment and economic prosperity,” he said.

Yuguda also cited a 2020 survey which indicated that there were 106 million adults in Nigeria, of which 38 million representing 36% were financially excluded and 81% of those financially excluded lived in rural areas while 19% lived in urban areas.

According to him, 56% of adults are women.

He added that 73 percent of adults had not completed high school, while 82 percent were unaware of the formal financial access point.

According to him, income analysis indicates that 94 percent of financially excluded adults were either dependents, business owners and farmers while less than 1 percent worked in the formal sector.

“In addition, 60% of financially excluded adults are under 35 years old.

“Data provided by the CSCS in the first quarter of 2021 indicated that there were 4.9 million investors in the stock market, of which 3.3 million (67%) were men, 1.5 million (31%) were women and 0.12 million business accounts.

“These statistics have shown that financial inclusion initiatives should primarily target women, rural residents, the less educated, the younger generations and those who do not work in the formal sector,” he said.

He said the SEC has taken steps to boost financial inclusion in general and the inclusion of the capital market in particular.

He said the efforts included capacity building.

He congratulated CAMCAN for the workshop, saying technology has played and will continue to play a critical role in expanding access to affordable financial services.

He called on policymakers and stakeholders to continue leveraging technology to expand access to financial services.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the workshop was themed: “Technology as a Tool for Financial Inclusion in Nigeria”.

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