DFID, FCA To Partner SEC On Devt Of Nigeria’s Fintech Space

Acting Director-General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk at the weekend, said it plans to adopt regulatory and supervisory practices for orderly development and stability of new technologies and digital financing tools in the capital market.
Receiving officials of the United Kingdom’s Department For International Development (DFID), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in Abuja, she said the commission will pay close attention to sustaining confidence and safeguarding the integrity of the market.
The organizations, she stressed, have agreed on a partnership that would enhance the development of the country’s Fintech space, expressing the commission’s enthusiasm about the collaboration to encourage the responsible use of Fintech.
This, she continued, would increase international participation, cooperation, while providing investors with more choices in the Nigerian Capital Market.
“In this way, our policies will facilitate the safe entry of new products, activities, and intermediaries. In addition, we will ensure that regulation does not stand in the way of innovation,” Uduk added.
While it is clear that FinTech has already made huge inroads into many aspects of the financial industry, what is perhaps even clearer is that the surface has barely been scratched in relation to what FinTech can do for us in the future.
According to her “the awareness of customers that their data might be prone to cyber-attacks could make them lose trust in digital channels until strong consumer protection frameworks are in place. These frameworks for digital financial services will be critical in building confidence for consumers.
“We have come up with ways to monitor the risks that may come up. It’s like a sandbox, but not an enclave. We are building the capacity to train young people that would be able to drive the process.
“We hope that this year will be a turning point. We are trying to gather as much information as we can to be able to contextualize and synthesize regulation in Nigeria
“Young people are beginning to get interested in investment and they are doing this via Fintech and that is why we are doing all that we can to develop rules around it so that the risk will be mitigated and it will further develop the market
Speaking earlier, Senior Adviser, UK DFID, Richard Sandall, said DFID and FCA have a partnership to support FCA to step into new jurisdictions to deliver DFID objectives in certain areas.
The team, he said, is “in Nigeria to look at the FinTech environment, regulatory environment and see if there are ways the Fintech environment can be built.
“We are very interested in the impacts that Fintechs in Nigeria would have in the UK. We know that Nigeria has Fintechs and the FCA has already established international networks.
He said the agreement with FCA is for two years, during which modalities would be put in place to work with regulators and that is why they have come to the SEC.
“We know the SEC has the enthusiasm for Fintech and we want to help develop it as much as we can” Sandall added.
Also speaking, Nigeria Lead, FCA, Parma Bains, said some done have done with the SEC in the past, expressed satisfaction working with the Commission, thanking the SEC for the partnership opportunity.
This, he noted, is the beginning of many collaborative relationships that will span for the next two years of the project.
For him, “we are available to provide collaboration and assistance in the area of Fintech and we are also open to learning how you regulate the market and some other roles you perform.”
On her part, Technical Specialist, FCA Barr Alicia Kedzierski said “SEC Nigeria is the first regulator that we have seen that looks into the millennial and the risks that could lead to long term issues.
“There has to be balanced, regulation as well as ensure that they are not closed out,” she said.
The idea behind the UK-Africa Fintech partnership is to connect African entrepreneurs with British fintech investors and business mentors to access the finance and advice needed to start and grow their companies.
The UK’s FCA plans to work with its regulatory counterparts in Africa. A dedicated fund worth up to £2m will support Nigerian start-ups.

Photo caption: Acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission Ms. Mary Uduk, receiving a document from Nigeria Lead, FCA, Parma Bains, during a Meeting between SEC and FCA in Abuja at the weekend. With them are Technical Specialist, Financial Conduct Authority, Barr Alicia Kedzierski left) and Acting Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, Isyaku Tilde;