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Recent years have shown a remarkable growth in Nigeria’s tech industry. Key sectors and especially the fintech space have seen interesting innovations and a remarkably large number of players over the years. Annually since 2022, convenes the Nigeria Fintech Forum, a leading gathering of stakeholders working across various verticals of finance and banking to stir conversations and innovations in the burgeoning fintech sector.

This year, Inclusion Times was a media partner, and through our Editor’s Diary, Adaugo Nwankpa highlights her favourite moments from our time at the event.

Mainstage Sessions

The MainStage sessions were  packed with insightful keynote speeches and panel sessions, providing perspective on the future of payments, what needed to be done and the role of partnerships and collaborations as we move into the future.

This year, Akeem Lawal, the MD Payment Processing and Switching (Interswitch Purepay) set the stage as the first keynote speaker, dropping gems worth pondering on.

Akeem Salam, Source: Nigeria Fintech Forum

Next, we had Akeem Salam, Head of Payments and Innovation at 9PSB deliver the second keynote speech. In his talk he highlighted the importance of innovation in solving problems in Nigeria, in his words

A lot of the problems we face in Nigeria are things that can only be solved by innovation.

He further spoke the critical role 9PSB plays in Nigeria’s fintech industry, through the fostering of partnerships and being an enabler for several other fintechs. His unique perspective was that deepening financial inclusion means making it possible for everyone to participate, and that we definitely agree with that.

Professor Olayinka Davis-West,Source: Nigeria Fintech Forum

The third keynote delivered by Professor Olayinka David-West of Lagos Business School took us into the world of the invisible middle and the unique challenges they face in running, growing and scaling their business. This invisible middle are businesses who are too big to receive micro-finance funding and too small to receive loans from banks. She highlighted the crucial and urgent need for customer-centred solutions in bridging the gaps that exist in the financial inclusion space, calling for collaborative action and reminding us that it takes a village to get this done.

There were several other MainStage talks we loved at the Nigeria Fintech Forum, but these two take the front row for me.

Panel Session, Source: Nigeria Fintech Forum

Panel Sessions

There were really engaging and insightful panel sessions at the forum and here are out top 3 take aways

  • There is a need to from both a customer perspective and a security perspective especially with the high occurrences of fraud
  • Policy, regulation and collaboration are crucial in closing the gaps
  • Collaboration between industry players would provide a unique pathway in winning the war against fraud.

Executive Session

The executive sessions which was a special session for industry executives, It was really interactive and filled with high-level conversations on building for the future, the challenges that exist and opportunities that abound. It also provided an in-depth networking opportunity for participants.

My #1 takeaway from this year’s forum is the crucial point of collaboration in driving financial inclusion and I look forward to seeing that collaboration play out practically in the industry. Next year, I also look forward to seeing more women on the keynote and panel sessions.