The Nigerian financial technology sector is set to receive a major boost as the United Kingdom has disclosed plans to deepen fintech partnership in Nigeria and Africa.
This disclosure was made by the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Harriet Thompson during the 2019 Nigeria Fintech Week held recently in Lagos.
According to Thompson, the Fintech market is important to the UK. This is why efforts were geared towards broadening the approach in research, innovation and science.
Challenges of Nigerian fintech startups: Thompson, while reiterating UK’s commitment to the sector, made known that Nigerian fintech startups faced challenges such as lack of access to seed capital, inconsistent supply of skills, uncertain regulatory frameworks amongst others, which is why the UK has offered to support the sector overcome these constraints.
Steps taken: The British Commissioner said that a tech hub had been created in Nigeria by the UK’s Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport which is focused on skills and capability development, digital ecosystem and facilitating innovative collaborations between Nigeria and the UK tech businesses.
Also, the UK’s Department for International Development recently set up a challenge to award startups growth capital, so far, 6 firms have been awarded.
“While our tech hub focuses on investment and business partnership, the research hub focuses on the knowledge and knowledge partnerships needed to drive the long term growth of the sector.
“As we build-up to the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January, 2019 in London, where technology will be a leading theme, next week sees a UK Nigeria Investment Showcase to be hosted by the Lord Mayor of London – we’ll be taking three Nigerian tech firms alongside other businesses to meet a new set of potential investors.
“Together, we hope to see new investments, firms growing as a result and people in all corners of Nigeria benefitting from them. Overall, we expect results in 2020 to be flowing faster and more impressively as our new programming and staffing gets established and gets to work,” Thompson said.