Lagos Fintech Week, an event that promised and delivered invigorating Fintech discussions, stimulating demos and insightful debates have come and gone but its impact lingers. With participants drawn from Fintech start-ups, technology companies, investors, banks, research institutes and innovative professionals, the organizing committee, chair by Dr. Yele Okeremi, MD/CEO, PFS and his deputy, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, MD of Infographic, worked assiduously to host an engaging and impactful event.
From a vantage position, several highlights were noted during the event but ten would be discussed in this narrative:
Quality representations from CBN
Founder and CEO of Open Vector, Carlos Figueredo was the star and cynosure of all eyes at the Open Banking Master Class, which preceded the plenary session and Oriental Hotel venue of the session was filled to the brim. However, the presence of the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] Ade Shonubi added oomph to the already sold out session. Throughout the proceeding, the quality representations from the CBN were visible, through the presence of Shonubi and Samuel Okojere, Director, Payments System Management Department
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Galaxy of quality speakers
The event paraded over 40 speakers, 56 panellists, 9-panel sessions and 523 attendees. Some of these speakers include Dr. Yele Okeremi, Chairman of the Organising Committee, Lagos Fintech Week, who spoke on Welcome to Tomorrow. He said that it has been a long walk to the very first edition of the Lagos Fintech Week.
“This is not just a ritual or a programme that has been designed to mark a calendar; rather it is a carefully conceived and intricately delivered programme to celebrate creativity, capability and resilience of the young Nigerian. A programme to showcase innovation in the Fintech space as it is delivered by Nigerians first for Nigeria, but not only for Nigeria but for the entire world”.
There were 14 presentations in three days. Presentation by Emmanuel Obinne, Pre-Sales Consultant Middle East and Africa, BPC touched on building infrastructure for collaborative Fintech 3.0, Oludare Senbore, Partner, Private Equity Capital at Aluko and Oyebode chamber shared how should we regulate fintech? While Dr. Andrew Nevin, Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria took the audience on a journey to Lagos: the making of Africa’s Fintech capital among others.
Robust engagement from the regulators
Aside from the CBN and NIBSS, other regulatory agencies viz, National Identity Management Commission, [NIMC], Security Exchange Commission [SEC], and the President’s Senior Special Adviser on ICT, Lanre Osibona provided robust engagement at the Lagos Fintech Week.
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Aside from the plenary session and Open Banking Master class, which attracted large turnout of participants, the exhibition area also paraded a total of 20 companies including BPC from Switzerland.
Lawyers show how to regulate Fintech
Two notable law firms represented the interest of lawyers at the Lagos Fintech Week through the active participation of Damilola Salawu, Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi LP and Oludare Senbore, Partner, Private Equity Capital of Aluko and Oyebode chamber. Besides his role as the chairman of the Nigerian Fintech Award jury, Damilola also presented Duality: State versus Federal Regulatory Perspective in Regulating Lending. Ditto Oludare’s presentation asked the question How Should We Regulate Fintech?
PwC and KPMG’s thoroughness and class
Dr. Andrew Nevin, Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria’s presentation “Lagos: the making of Africa’s Fintech capital” showed the various Fintech opportunities in Lagos and Olusegun Zacchaeus, Senior Manager, Management Consulting, KPMG Advisory Services, was concerned about how “would PSBs become Nigeria’s challengers’ banks.” The two presenters showed class and thoroughness during their respective presentations and also offered solutions and challenged the participants to seize the available opportunities.
Open Banking Master Class and Carlos Figueredo, Founder, Open Vector
Open Banking Master class is one of the main attractions of the Lagos Fintech week, as open banking has become a trend that is poised to transform how banking is practised in the next decade. Meanwhile, only a few countries have started or are in the process of starting and the traction is so strong.
As a result of this, Figueredo, founder of Open Vector, flew in from the UK and spoke on Embracing Open Banking as an Opportunity to Innovate, not just an Exercise in Compliance. He spent three days hobnobbing with bankers and strategic partners with the intent of changing the banking landscape in Nigeria through the practice of Open Banking.
Nigerian Fintech Awards
The Nigerian Fintech Awards produced a completely new set of award winners, which include Renmoney, Global Accelerex, Xpress Payment, Riby etc. The brands that emerged winners had no inkling about winning, as they had to endure rigorous process to scale through.
Kudos to the Nigerian Fintech Award jury; an independent body comprising a fintech lawyer, a fintech expert, journalists, a consultant with International Financial Corporation [IFC] and president of Nigeria Internet Registration Association [NIRA]. The chairman of the jury, Damilola Salawu, Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi LP was present to hand over the awards to the winners.
Nigerian Fintech Landscape
The 20-page Lagos Fintech Week 2019 event brochure had at the centre spread, the Nigerian Fintech Landscape, an independently curated highlight of the growth of Fintech in Nigeria. The infographic offers insights into all the active and innovative firms in the Nigerian Fintech value chain. It is the first independent and comprehensive illustration of the Nigerian Fintech scene.
The colourful spread had 12 broad categories including Wealth and Credit tech with 42 firms, Venture Capital 48 firms, Acceleration and Innovation labs 13 firms, Insurtech 11 firms, Associations 5, Compliance and Regtech 6 firms, Facilitators 6, Supporters 9, Bank Platform Software 11, Regulators 9, Payments and Remittance 48, Blockchain, Digital Asset, Big Data, Identity and Artificial Intelligence [AI] 15 firms.
The explicit Nigerian Fintech Landscape infographic was another attraction for savvy participants and investors who took the brochure away. “This is the industry bible. If your company is not listed in the Nigerian Fintech Landscape, you do not exist”, CEO of one of the listed firms was overheard saying to his colleagues.