BY: ONOME AMUGE
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) is in a race to see Nigeria attain 80 percent financial inclusion for the population in the next four years, it has emerged.
The target comes on the back of the realisation that despite the growing need for the inclusion of digital financial culture in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem, as many as 35 million Nigerians do not have access to telecommunications services, and by implication, lack access to digital financial services.
Umar Danbatta, executive vice-chairman of the NCC, disclosed the commission’s 80 percent target in Abuja during an event commemorating the ‘World Consumer Rights Day’.
Danbatta attributed the challenge to the inadequacy of both wireless and fibre connectivity infrastructure, noting that more citizens will embrace the digital financial culture when they have access to telecom services in the distant, isolated, unserved and underserved communities where they dwell.
Emphasising the urgency of increasing investment in both fixed and wireless infrastructure to boost financial inclusion, the NCC executive vice chairman offered the commission’s commitment towards making the target of at least 80 percent level of financial inclusion possible in about four years.
According to him, NCC has licensed the infrastructure companies (Infracos), which are to provide the fibre from landing ports to the hinterland of the country, with a key focus in providing broadband connectivity across the 774 local government areas in the country.
“There would be further actions to enable Infracos to commence operations as the commission recognises that fibre is the long-term solution to the volume of transactions in the financial services sector,” he stated.
Danbatta urged stakeholders in the digital finance sector to develop and adopt tech solutions capable of protecting consumers from financial losses
He also reiterated that the commission would soon establish telecom consumer assistance, resolution and enquiries (TELCARE) desks at strategic locations across the country to provide information to telecom consumers.