The Federal Government is leveraging the innovative capacity of Fintechs to accelerate interventions, especially those under its Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), including programmes on renewable energy, agriculture, improving access to credit and direct cash transfers, among others, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said on Friday.
Professor Osinbajo stated this at the official launch of the Nigeria Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Fintech Hackathon in Abuja.
“This is incredibly powerful for our efforts at resolving the climate crisis, transitioning to cleaner energy, but it also introduces a tremendous opportunity for Fintech companies for payments systems,” he said.
The vice president added, “Being able to manage that whole process, collect monies in some case, and in many cases, payout to owners; I think that there are tremendous opportunities there.
“This is something we are starting now. Of course, several companies have already shown some interest. So, as we address climate concerns, there are major opportunities for Fintech companies and their creativity is going to be very crucial here.”
Speaking about leveraging innovations by Fintechs to address challenges in the agricultural sector, he stressed the need to expand the scope of sustainable farming and farming techniques.
According to him, this has become crucial because the people now realise that with deforestation and all the issues with farmer-herder clashes, it is important to look more closely at how to be more creative with farming techniques, engage and educate farmers, and use more extension workers actively.
Professor Osinbajo noted that this was the case, especially as the government tries to implement an aspect of its Economic sustainability plan.
“So, we have to first find out where these new farmers work and we have to geo-tag them to their farms. But more importantly, we had to get credit to them one way or the other because many of them are in far-flung areas of the country.
“But not just credit, also information that they would need for choosing the right type of fertiliser, and other farm input. There is no question at all that Fin-Tech is crucial and would even be more crucial, especially as we pursue goals of financial inclusion and try to reach hitherto unreachable parts of the country,” he said.
The vice president believes there is no better way to address the issues of poverty and others around the SDGs if the country is unable to reach those who need to be reached with credit.
In ensuring a smooth transition to clean energy, he explained that such a process required those who could facilitate the movement of money quickly – such as the Fintech companies.
Professor Osinbajo, therefore, appealed to young Nigerians to aspire to achieve their dreams and take advantage of the exciting opportunities that abound in the tech systems.
The event was organised by the Financial Centre for Sustainability Lagos (FC4S Lagos), Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre (NCIC), Access Bank and AfricaHacks.
The Naija SDGs Hackathon aims to facilitate the development of Fintech solutions that have a direct impact on the realisation of the SDGs.
Guests at the event included the Senior Special Assistant to the President SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on SDGs, Solape Hammond; and the former Special Adviser to the UK Prime Minister on Social Justice, Young People & Opportunities, Mr Nero Ugwhujabo, among others.