Nigeria: CBN Governor Foresees Mobile Money and Digital Lending Driving Service Sector Growth in 2024

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Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), anticipates that mobile money and digital lending will serve as catalysts for growth in the service sector throughout 2024.

During the recent launch of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group 2024 Macroeconomic Outlook Report, Governor Cardoso emphasized the pivotal role of the service sector in propelling economic expansion in Nigeria. He projected a 3.76 percent growth rate for the country’s economy in 2024, fueled by an increasing reliance on fintech solutions.

Governor Cardoso highlighted:

“The services sector is poised to maintain its dominance, driven by the adoption of mobile money, augmented government collaborations, and the expansion of digital lending services. Continued digitization efforts and governmental support for financial inclusion initiatives are anticipated to propel growth within the fintech sector throughout 2024.”

This optimism echoes Governor Cardoso’s previous statements regarding the transformative potential of fintech in Nigeria’s economic trajectory. In discussions about Nigeria’s ambition to attain a $1 trillion economy, he underscored the fintech industry’s capacity to attract substantial capital investments into the nation.

Moreover, during the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria’s annual dinner in 2023, Governor Cardoso outlined growth projections across various sectors, with fintech standing out as a significant recipient of capital investments.

However, alongside his buoyant outlook for the fintech sector, Governor Cardoso reiterated the CBN’s commitment to bolstering regulatory compliance. He revealed plans for extensive consultations aimed at developing a new regulatory framework tailored to the technology-driven payment services sector. Concurrently, the CBN will undertake a comprehensive review of the licensing framework for payment services.

In November of the previous year, Yemi Cardoso announced intentions to conduct a thorough review of licenses granted to financial institutions, particularly those operating within the technology-driven payment services sector. He emphasized the responsibility of operators under the CBN’s purview to ensure proper licensing for the services they offer, signaling the end of startups’ previous leniency in launching products before regulatory approval.

Presently, Nigerian fintech executives are preparing for an impending regulatory overhaul by the central bank, which aims to implement stricter controls to combat persistent fraud issues.

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