23 May 2019

Nigeria: Govt Charged to Priotise Empowerment Above Financial Inclusion

While acknowledging the great efforts gone into deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Federal Government has been enjoined to priotise economic empowerment of Nigerians.

According to software firm, Precise Financial System (PFS), with economic empowerment, it simply means giving Nigerians the opportunity to live and contribute significantly to the economy.

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Yele Okeremi, advised that the financial services sector, through assistance from the Federal Government, should shift attention from financial inclusion to empowering the people economically. He said this will help them make informed decisions and be financially included in no time.

Okeremi, whose firm celebrated 25 years anniversary, said the current economic challenges in Nigeria could be a catalyst for development, although the system has failed many of its citizens, adding that it is important for government to encourage the development of the ecosystem from all frontiers.

According to Okeremi, who is also the President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), the country must enable business growth, stressing that this can be achieved if the environment safe and thriving.

He urged government to introduce policies that will reposition the economy and encourage businesses to grow, as there is still dearth of market access, which slows businesses development.

He also stressed the need for government to encourage local content development, saying for indigenous company to thrive and economy to grow, government at all levels must buy and consume Nigeria, adding that this challenge has plagued the software sub-sector for years and has almost made it extinct.

To the PFS Deputy Managing Director, Philip Ayeni, the firm hopes to make the black race proud by creating solutions that solve real life challenges.

He said: "We want to create value and solve real life problem. One of our innovations has allowed customers settle cheques without challenges. This is our way of being relevance to the society and part of a conversation that solves real life challenges."

He however noted that the financial services sector needs to be improved. "Our payment system is still sophisticated. One of the things I see is using technology to create wealth and that does matter. There are seamless opportunities just using technology to create wealth," he added.

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