Experts canvass for collaboration at 2019 Financial Inclusion Conference

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Experts canvass for collaboration at 2019 Financial Inclusion Conference

Collaboration, cooperation, and co-creation have been recommended as steps towards developing market-creating innovations in the financial services ecosystem in Nigeria. This recommendation was made at the 2019 edition of the International Financial Inclusion Conference held at Lagos Business School on Thursday, November 28.

Organised by the Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Financial Services (SIDFS), one of LBS’ three research centres, the Conference provides a space for ecosystem stakeholders to congregate and share knowledge, as well as discuss latest research frontiers and findings.

At this edition, stakeholders at a panel session moderated by Business Law Faculty at LBS, Professor Olawale Ajai, addressed non-consumption of financial services and innovations that can address this situation from the perspective of the industries they play in.

CEO, Lotus Financial Services, Toyin Kekere-Ekun said as asset managers, her organisation creates products and services for people who would not participate in the conventional financial space. Some of such services include mutual funds with entry points as low as N5,000 to foster wealth creation for people at the bottom of the pyramid. Kekere-Ekun went on to recommend that a paradigm shift by institutions would be to focus on prosperity and opportunity, rather than alleviating poverty, by getting customers to invest rather than save.

Sharing the sentiments on wealth creation, CEO, Ventures Platform, Kola announced that his organisation has, in the last six months, invested in three wealth management startups targeted at the market segment that needs it the most. Aina said he is of the belief that the conversation needs to move from getting people included to helping them get wealthier.

Other panelists including Chief Financial Officer, 9Mobile, Phillips Oki; Head of Remittances, OPay, Kunle Olamuyiwa; and Executive Director, Retail Banking, FCMB, Olu Akanmu joined in advocating for institutional support, a progressive approach by regulators and accessibility of financial products to the last mile.

Also at the conference, a newly developed tool for accessing and developing interventions for Nigeria’s financial inclusion, Geofin was introduced by Tolu Oyekan of Boston Consulting Group. Developed in partnership with LBS, the tool increases precision with financial inclusion interventions by providing location-specific solutions that will move the needle.

Using Nigeria’s market-dominating product, Indomie Instant Noodles as case study, a fireside chat between CEO, Lagos Free Trade Zone, Tolaram Group, Dinesh Rathi and SIDFS Team Lead, Professor Olayinka David-West, provided a conclusion on the crucial factors to be considered when building a financial product. The factors include availability, affordability and acceptability.

The Conference rounded off with the launch of the State of the Market Report 2019 which is the fourth in the series and presents consumer and gender profiles with more contextual relevance and linkages. It contains insights from analysis of disaggregated data on banked, under-banked and unbanked adult Nigerians. The Report is available for download here: http://sustainabledfs.lbs.edu.ng/FI-Resources/SoMR_Full_Report_2019.pdf

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