The Federal Government says the African Continental Free Trade Area has opened up opportunities for the Nigerian finance industry.
The government says the African free trade will create $3.4tn opportunity and deepen the financial technology space for the industry.
Speaking at the 15th Annual Banking and Finance Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), said an expanding infrastructure and a growing financial technology were also new opportunities which players in the Nigerian finance industry could leverage to boost revenue and multiply jobs.
“In repositioning itself, the finance sector would serve not just as an intermediary for lenders and borrowers but in creating a new ecosystem consisting of platforms where ordinary Africans can buy and sell their locally- made products despite currency disparity as being practiced on the Pan- African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), a brainchild of Afrexim Bank,” Buhari, who was represented by the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, said.
Buhari said the industry could deepen the market and expand product offering to finance Nigeria’s infrastructure and business investment needs while developing strategies to drive insurance penetration in Nigeria.
He further said that the industry had an opportunity to deploy innovations in fintech for the extension of financial services to the under-served population while expanding the product space by leveraging the opportunities provided by other digital trading platforms such as warehousing, collateral management and crowd-funding.
Nigeria’s finance industry includes players in financial services and insurance subsectors. The industry has contributed about 3.7 per cent to the gross domestic product in 2022 already, which is estimated at N7tn.