In what he described as the impatient attitude of Nigerians towards the mobile money operations in Nigeria, CEO of Paga, Tayo Oviosu, has said that mobile money service cannot be scaled to the optimum in Nigeria bearing in mind the size of the country in comparison with the size of Kenya. Kenya has the same size as Lagos.
While Nigeria reports about $25.1 million [N5 billion] in annual mobile money transactions, the East African nation boasts of about $30 billion annually. M-Pesa, the mobile money platform of Kenya’s Safaricom alone accounts for about $5 billion of this sum.
Mobile money adoption rate in Nigeria is very low with about 2 percent. This is partly due to the approach adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] which is in charge of giving out mobile money licenses.
In his remark, Ovious said that mobile is only four years old in Nigeria against what is happening in Kenya. “People talk about Kenya. Mobile money has been in Kenya for many years. So people can’t compare four years with 10 years. Kenya is like a size of Lagos. The size of Nigeria is what people don’t put into consideration most times”
He said that mobile money takes time to grow in a typical market with huge population, but it has worked in Ghana, Kenya, India, and few other places across the world.
He said: “We see mobile money as a way people can connect with financial ecosystem of Nigeria. Currently in Nigeria, we only have about 30 million banked people out of the 180 million. We still have a long way to go.”