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Mobile money options on the cards at unbanked Nigeria summit

By Emmanuel Elebeke
Driven by technology advancement, ICT and financial experts have called for mobile money inclusion in the system to enable Nigeria share from the bouquet of the emerging mobile money ecosystem in West Africa.

This, they said, will enable the region serve the over 115 million unbanked Nigerians,  who were shut out of service due to limited access to formal financial services. In their presentations, various speakers who spoke agreed that the wide spread of networks and increasing access to mobile technology has made mobile remittance inevitable in today’s transaction and agreed that Africa need not be left behind in the journey to new era of financial inclusion.

In his address, convener of the event and Principal Associate, MobileMoneyAfrica, Emmanuel Okoegwale said the essence of organizing the event was to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria, in line with the new central bank of Nigeria  licensing policy, so that stakeholders will be able to understand their roles in the emerging mobile money financial landscape.

“We believe that everybody must understand their roles in the mobile market. Nigeria  is statistically well positioned for mobile financial services, reason being that in the country of 140 million people, we have only 25 million bank accounts with millions of unbanked people. I think the ecosystem is ripe for mobile financial services to thrive,” he explained.

In his presentation, the PostMaster-General of the Federation,  Mori Baba represented by the Head, Corporate Planning, NIPOST, Abdul-Karim Baba, said that NIPOST  is known world wide as a single medium through which money transfer was carried until at a time, the system could no longer function. He expressed hope that with the new CBN policy on mobile money, NIPOST would be repositioned to act as dependable and major agent network for mobile money transfer.

Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Medallion Communications Limited, Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani identified interconnectivity as a critical factor in the implementation of mobile payment operation.

He called for interoperability with telecom operators core network and stressed the need for operators to pay more attention to security control, routine option as well and  transmission facilities for multiple interconnections. Nnamani, however, advised operators to take advantage of  existing infrastructure to avoid unnecessary waste.


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