A technology entrepreneur, Eniola Adenuga, says the current global trends suggest that mobile money has the potential of making a significant contribution to Nigeria’s economy.
According to him, with the proliferation of technology globally, there is still significant economic disparity in Nigeria, one that can be bridged by leveraging technology through telecommunications.
He noted that across the emerging economies of the world, McKinsey reports that two billion individuals and 200 million small businesses in these regions today lack access to formal banking services such as savings, investments or access to credit, a reality which leaves them prone to predatory lenders and other concerns.
He said, “When you look at the number of people who have active bank accounts and look at the number of people who have active mobile lines in Nigeria, you find that there is a huge gap there, and where there are gaps, there are opportunities to be tapped.”
The National Bureau of Statistics reported in the fourth quarter 2021 the number of Internet subscribers in Nigeria grew to 154.3 million, a figure that towered over the 79.3 million active bank accounts recorded in Nigeria in 2019.
In the last 10 years, mobile money has grown in certain regions as an effective tool for financial inclusion.
In several markets, it serves as the mainstream financial service helping millions move from an informal cash economy into a thriving digital economy.
There are now about 316 live mobile money deployments across 98 countries worldwide. About 10 years ago, that number was 169 in 71 countries.
Eniola, who is also the Founder of VTel, agrees that more people are getting captured and enjoying the benefits of a digital ecosystem.
According to him, VTel, as a digital service provider offering e-commerce and digital value-added services, has also enabled people to transact more often using digital channels more now than ever.
Citing the remarkable successes with M-Pesa in Kenya, Eniola said more could be achieved in Nigeria through mobile money.
“With mobile money, people are able to send and receive money with ease, even in the most remote of villages. No one is left out and everyone can partake of the immense benefits that a digitized country and economy offers,” he said.
With transaction values hitting the trillion-dollar mark in 2021, mobile money hit a milestone faster than anticipated for the industry.
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