By Oluwatobi Opusunju and Chinedu James
Over-regulation with too much focus on taxing small medium enterprises (SMEs) is slowing down growth and innovation in Nigeria’s emerging tech industry, an expert and investor has warned. CEO of Globasure, Mr. Chris Ife, in a recent chat with IT Edge News said even though the industry faces overwhelming challenges such as dearth of skilled developers and talent retention, government appears more visible on the regulatory space in a way that impact negatively innovation.
According to him, it was important for government to be more innovative with its regulations and be in tune with the realities of the industry when formulating policies, so as not to kill innovation and growth of the FinTech industry.
Industry needs intelligent regulations
“One of the major challenges we are facing is government’s regulation. In this era, we are supposed to be having intelligent regulations not what we have; and this retards development in the industry,” said a worried Ife while further stating that it was unnecessary to create specific regulation for the FinTech industry as being mulled by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since FinTech firms mostly work for the banks who already have laid down regulations that FInTechs are bound to follow.
The government had announced plans to create a special department to regulate FinTech’s operators as it is with the banking sector. But Ife and some stakeholders believe the industry risks being over-regulated. Most importantly, they argue that the industry needs enabling environment that will encourage innovation and translates to economic growth and not additional regulations.
“There shouldn’t be another regulation specific for the FinTech industry. The regulation should focus on the banks because FinTech is just technology built on the banks.
“What the government should focus on is making the environment much more enabling to encourage innovation, because when you innovate you bring better services and it translates to better customer experience and satisfaction as well as economic growth,” said Ife.
Globasure is a Lagos based financial technology firms offering a broad range of payment services and solutions. Since it opened shop, the company has focused on building, implementing and maintaining innovative end-to-end electronic payment and card management solutions based on the up-to-the-minute technology software infrastructure for the new world of ATM, EFT-POS, mobile and internet technology.