The Chief Executive Officer of Norebase, Mr. Adetola Onayemi, has said that Nigeria needs more fintech companies to close the financial gaps in the country. He stated this against the backdrop of claims that Nigeria has too many fintechs.
According to him, Nigeria with over 200 million population currently has 144 fintechs, which is far lower compared with other countries with lesser population. He notes that the USA with population of 330 million has over 8,775 fintechs, while the UK with a population of 68 million has over 2,500 fintechs.
Confirming that the low fintech penetration is a pan-African problem, Onayemi stated that Africa with a 1.2 billion population has just 573 fintechs.
What the Norebase CEO is saying
Sharing his thoughts in a Twitter conversation, Onayemi said: “The more uneducated and poor people in any place, the more innovations you need. Fintechs do the work of closing financial gaps, and so we need more people trying to solve the problem of inclusion as well as creating economic prosperity. We need more hands, not less.”
“Also, the fact that we have fewer bank accounts and fewer phones is more validation for why we need more fintechs. We need more people attempting to solve the problem, not fewer people.
“When there is a problem, there is first an explosion of attempts to solve it. Payment in Nigeria (even Africa) is still broken. Once the problem is solved, then consolidation & mergers happen, leaving few main players. Nigeria has many fintechs because we are still at solving stage,” he added.
He described the assumption that fintechs only bank existing wealth as faulty, saying: “The question of what is our GDP is such a faulty model to examine Fintech size. Fintechs also create tools that generate more prosperity. e.g vendors who can make more money because of Paystack/Flutterwave stores. Fintechs create tools that generate more prosperity. e.g vendors who can make more money because of Paystack/Flutterwave stores.”