Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), on Thursday, assembled industry experts during its inaugural NGX TechNovation Conference to dimension the digital transformation of the nation’s financial services space with a keen focus on the capital market.
The virtual event with the theme “Technology, Platforms and Markets” featured critical discussions around technology, partnerships, and innovation that can boost the advancement of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, NGX, Temi Popoola, while stressing the importance of the conference said the exchange has “stepped into an era that signals a new horizon of opportunities.”
The NGX, he continued, “is a technology powerhouse that leverages smart business models to deliver vertical platforms across capital formation, investment, capacity building, market development and a plethora of other services within the capital markets ecosystem.”
He expressed the bourse’s commitment “to developing innovative solutions that drive, not just internal efficiency at the exchange but that support wider efforts by various stakeholders at ensuring a full digitalization of the Nigerian capital markets. We are extending our platform competencies in line with our strategic aspirations while leveraging best in class digital innovation to deliver value to our stakeholders and markets.”
In his goodwill message, the Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda commending the NGX CEO and his team for putting together the event, which he said shows the resilience among Nigerians and the ability to face challenges.
The conference theme, he said, “captures the mood in the world today and the inevitable coming together of the three segments in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced us all to stretch possibilities and adopt new ways of performing our functions. These recent shifts certainly pose a challenge and a huge opportunity to both financial sector regulators and conventional financial services providers like NGX. It is, therefore, important that we facilitate conversations like this to ensure we strike the right balance between innovation, integrity, and protection of investors, without whom there will be no markets”.
Also speaking, Co-Founder and CEO, Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola, noted that in today’s information age, “technology is leapfrogging every business model and infrastructure we can think about. This has of course facilitated growth that we see across the landscape in different terrains.
“A key driver in the proliferation of technology solutions in Nigeria has been mobile penetration and we expect to see continued growth in this regard. Against the backdrop of evolving solutions, African startups have raised over $1bn in funding which is unprecedented for technology companies.
“The industry must however recognise that funders and regulators are the biggest stakeholders that must work together to drive digitalisaton across Africa and provide a platform for capital raising and global recognition for Nigerian companies at all stages,” he added.
The event also featured a presentation by the President, Africa Fintech Network, Dr. Segun Aina who said the conference “shows continued commitment to digital initiatives that can reposition and improve the Nigerian Capital Market and ensure its leadership position not only in Africa and across the world.”
The conference had two-panel sessions to provide insights into a wide spectrum of topics. The first-panel session themed, “The Path to Exponential Growth – New Technology, Platforms, Emerging Markets,” highlighted, the need for stakeholders to take a proactive and deliberate approach to building infrastructure that will support the growth of technology companies and the adoption of innovative solutions in operating businesses and creating value within the industry.
The panel featured founder and general partner, Future Africa, Iyin Aboyeji; partner, McKinsey & Company, Topsy Kola-Oyeneyin; Country Manager, Opay Nigeria, Divisional Head, Listings Business, NGX, Olumide Bolumole; with the Director, Frontier/SSA Banks & FinTech Equity Research, Renaissance Capital, Adesoji Solanke serving as moderator.
The second session focused on Beyond Tech – Partnerships, Business Models, Innovation, Data, and Regulation and highlighted the interconnectedness of stakeholders within the business ecosystem that requires extensive stakeholder engagement and forward-thinking partnership and collaborations to harness the competitive advantage across the spectrum.
Speakers on the panel were Executive Commissioner (Operations), SEC, Adedayo Obisan; Founding Partner, Ventures Platform, Kola Aina; Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, F10, Andreas Itern; Senior Ambassador, Seedstars Nigeria, Alessia Balducci; Partner, Microtraction, Chidinma Iwueke; with Chief Customer Experience Officer, Interswitch Group, Oremeyi Akah, as moderator.