The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rated Nigerian fintech high, saying the financial technology has become part of its operations.
Agama said: “So for us, at SEC, fintech is in our blood, fintech is in our space and we can gladly or beat our chest to say as a regulator, we are about the most innovative in the space as regarding the regulation of fintech and be open to the fintech institution.
“But I will need also to mention that, that does not just come the way it came, it is because that’s actually the way the financial system is wired.
When you speak of financial market infrastructure, you find out that what you speak to will be about 70-80 per cent capital market and maybe 20-30 per cent money market payment system, so when you speak to the financial market infrastructure, with all of the categories of the issue in the financial market infrastructure all you have is more of capital market and less of the payment system.
However, in the universe of institutions that are actually in the fintech, you have so many of them in the payment system, Hence, it does appear as if the capital market is smaller than the money market or the payment system. So clearly, it gives us very important and significant role to play.
The most significant reality is that investor protection role, so all we do at SEC is to try as much as possible to do that responsibility that we have been provided to do by the ISC section 13of the ISC specifically speaks to that responsibility we try to do so faithfully.
But in doing that, do we stifle innovation? no, we don’t. And speaking on that u will clearly take us back and what we have done in the last 3-4 years is when fintech started in this space and what we did in order to take everyone along, there was a fintech roadmap committee which brought together considerable stakeholders within the space to think about what is the next step because this thing is going so far and running so far and if we do not catch up with, well it would be hard to catch up with it and so we set that up lead by a market committee member and that committee fashioned out clearly trying to possibly diagnose the entire system in order to provide particular pillars for which growth can be achieved.
Having done that we went further to set up a block chain of metro financial asset committee and the intention was clearly because in most of the fintech assignment or fintech product that we see the base of such product is the block chain digital leger technology and so that committee was set up, so what regulation what we need to know and understand around it and of course is the protection of financial asset and having done all of this we set out to introduce our clarification and classification guidelines in September 2020, to say this is what we are going to do and this is the areas we going to work on and having done all of this we can the result.
Speaking about registering companies in the finanacial technology, he said: “We have started registering companies in the fintech space and just recently, we released the robo advice guidelines for robo advisory operations in the Nigerian capital market, not long after now, what you will be seeing is a regulatory incubation guideline which we will institutionalised and we would definitely operationalising this guidelines in order for new fintech and innovative young person to come in and let us see exertly what they are doing and how they are going about it.
So the essence is simple which are risk managing and inventors protection and at the end of it I think the market will be better for it knowing fully well that the next frontier is actually fintech and all about capital formation and growing the capital market in a digitised format as the NGX and other participants in the market.”