NCC highlights role of telecoms in financial inclusion


THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said that telecommunications remain the best enabler in expanding the frontiers of financial inclusion in Nigeria. Umar Danbatta, the executive vice-chairman, NCC, said the realisation of the centrality of telecommunication to all aspects of the economy explains NCC’s upbeat in expanding telecom infrastructure across the country.

Danbatta said this while receiving a team from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BMGF, and the foundation’s consultants, Glenbrooks Partners, who paid a visit to the commission in Abuja recently. He said the infrastructure companies, Infracos, have been licensed by the commission to connect fibre from landing ports to the hinterland of Nigeria, especially the 774 local government areas of the country.

He believes the federal government will take a concrete position soon to enable the Infracos to commence operations because fibre is the real solution to the volume of transactions in the financial services sector. Danbatta noted that 35 million Nigerians have no access to telecommunications services and by implication; they lack access to digital financial services, a condition that undermines financial inclusion.

“Tthe challenge is caused by the inadequacy of both wireless and fibre connectivity infrastructure. We need to do more investment in both fixed and wireless infrastructure to enable us to reach our target of at least 80 percent level of financial inclusion in about four years,” he said.

Danbatta said access to telecom services by distant, isolated, unserved and underserved communities would enable more citizens to embrace a digital financial culture. He said the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has issued a Mobile Money Payment Services license to some mobile network operators to enable them to undertake mobile financial transaction services.

He advocated renewed and greater collaboration between the banking and telecommunications sectors to harmonise the cost of transactions for financial services in an equitable manner.

– Feb. 14, 2020 @ 17:15 GMT |

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