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How You Can Join the Most Influential Committee in Fintech Nigeria

RARZACK OLAEGBE shows how to become an influential person by join the Bankers Committee

We all yearn to belong. Because of this longing, some people join several associations. In the search for high-level connection and construction, some people have established links with diverse groups. This is done because they want to fit into a certain sphere of the society. They want to influence people, places and positions. They want to have the ears and eyes of the president, venture capitalists, founders, angel investors and administrators. They want to be the first to know. They want to call the shots. If it happens, they want to be there.

Anyway, two of the groups that are making things happen in the fintech space are Fintech 1000 plus and Fintech Association of Nigeria. Fintech 100 plus is an informal and influential group. It comprises men and women who sit on the boards of many fintech firms in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Europe and the USA.

Some of these people are in government. Some are regulators. Some are bank directors. Some are chairmen of legacy companies. Some are founders. Some are investors. Some are in academia. They know what you don’t know. They have information you don’t have. They influence policies that affect you. They are respected in the fintech ecosystem in Nigeria and outside. If a camel can pass through the eye of the needle you can join Fintech 1000 plus.

Otherwise, you may consider joining the Fintech Association of Nigeria. It is self-regulatory. It is not-for-profit. It is not a political organisation. Incorporated by the corporate affairs commission, the association is a member of the Global Fintech Hubs Federation. It is a platform for the exchange of ideas and dissemination of information between the various stakeholders.

It facilitates networking. It aids advocacy. It enables acceleration. It influences policy formation. It assists knowledge events. Members of this group are corporate entities. Join this group if you are a corporate body. Join if you operate in the fintech ecosystem and it’s peripheral.

If not, join the Bankers Committee. Well, before emailing your application form, get a few words about the Committee. It is an exclusive forum for the chief executives of Nigerian banks. Members also include directors of the different departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The CBN governor is the chairman.

To show how influential the Committee is, solve this puzzle. Who announced a N3.5 trillion stimulus package in response to the ravaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Nigerian economy as enunciated by the CBN? Who pledged to fund facilities in Naira and foreign exchange to pharmaceutical companies to enable them procure raw materials and equipment to boost local drug production in Nigeria? Who influenced other ground breaking events in the fintech ecosystem? You don’t know? Yes. Aha! This body runs the economy. They are influential. Join the Bankers Committee, if you are bounced by the first two associations.

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To join the Committee, membership criteria is herculean. Well, since you want to become an influential Nigerian, you may “try your luck”, as it is said in the local parlance. To join the Committee, you need a formal application for the grant of a license to open a banking business. The CBN will need to determine if you are qualified to start a bank. If you are, you will get an approval in principle (AIP). You will be granted a final license. You will get a pre-commencement of operation requirement. You will pay a non-refundable N500, 000 application fee.

You would then need to choose the category of the bank you want. You need to choose from four categories. Once you are ready, you will get the list. Otherwise you can buy a bank. How can you do this? Here is a clue. You can buy a controlling stake in an existing bank. Become the CEO or the chairman. Follow the conditions set by the CBN. Meet the necessary guidelines. Hmm, if you are denied access to an existing bank, you can start from ground zero. You need different requirements for owning a banking license. But you need to determine the type of bank you want.

If you scale through, every other thing is secondary. From there you would upgrade your wardrobe. You would start wearing a grey or black suit 24/7. You would join the meeting. You would sit among the small gods. You would formulate policies to stifle the fintech firms. You would view fintech as a threat.

If you miss a banking license, maybe you failed to conduct a proper due diligence right. Then you may need to conduct a feasibility study based on your category. Remember, stakes and capital involved in opening a bank in Nigeria are very high. You must reduce mistakes to the barest minimum.

Research shows that to conduct feasibility studies is imperative to avoid pitfalls. The occupational hazards that exist in starting a bank is huge. You need to be careful. To get it right, you may need to board another sinking bank to learn some lessons. It will help you to figure out the problems. That will give you first-hand experience in deducing solutions. Aside from this, you would need to raise N25 billion recapitalisation base.

Why should I raise that humongous amount of money because I want to start a bank? Well, the last time I checked, Palnapina employed my dad. He has no employment with the CBN. Otherwise, I would have told you. To get an answer, you would need to call . Who is Godwin? Ah, you do not know Godwin? And you are aspiring to join the Bankers Committee? You want to start a banking business in Nigeria? Are you from OYO? No, actually, from UYO. I see, you are welcome.

Meanwhile, if you are serious you need to get partners. Your partners must be “clean.” Do you know what I mean? Yes. You must set up a board of directors. The directors will help you in the running of the business. You must run the bank according to the banking practices and operations. Your directors should typically hold five to 13 people. If you need to understand their roles and duties, give me a call later.

Oh, lest I forget, to run the bank properly, the fitness and properness of the promoters must be ascertained. Security and Exchange Commission, NDIC, NAICOM, Credit Bureau (CRMS) security screening will handle that process. There are other statutory issues. Like what? Tax matters. MEMART. What is MEMART? You are not ready to join the most influential Committee in the fintech ecosystem. When you are ready, we will travel to UYO. We will start from there. Why UYO? Because that is where you belong!