Nigeria is set to become Africa’s FinTech hub after experiencing a boost in mobile money operations last year that has helped catapult the country to the forefront of media attention as it demonstrates its advancements in the sector.
According to a report from Finextra, in 2011 mobile money operations in Nigeria grew from an average monthly transaction value of $5 million to $142.8 million in 2016.
A key factor to this growth is down to the fact that Nigeria is experiencing a growing population. UN estimations predict that the population in Nigeria is expected to be greater than that in the U.S. by 2050.
A high mobile phone use is another factor to consider. It’s believed that there are over 23 million smartphones in use with an estimated 150 million active subscriber lines in Nigeria. Additionally, a talented workforce in the country is seeing individuals taking the leap to start their own firms where they live.
FinTech in Nigeria
FinTech in Nigeria is growing from strength to strength.
Last month, a report released by KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing tax, audit and advisory services, revealed that investment in Nigerian FinTech firms over the past two years had exceeded more than $200 million.
The last few years have been formative for the African nation with an increase in investments, startups and incubators. This can be seen by the fact that in September 2016 there were 14 deals in Nigeria compared with just two deals in 2010.
Bitcoin Regulation in Nigeria
Yet while much is being done to boost the FinTech sector in Nigeria, the digital currency bitcoin remains unregulated in the country.
It’s believed that Uganda could become the first Africa nation to regulate the currency after the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) released a report in November providing bitcoin regulation in Uganda.
A Long Way to Go
Of course, while Nigeria is transforming into a FinTech hub offering unique opportunities for firms to establish themselves, the country still has a long way to go before it can join the ranks of London, New York or Singapore.
Despite this, though, that isn’t stopping the country from making headlines and making headway into the FinTech sector. By providing an ideal working environment for companies to work in, Nigeria is more likely to flourish as it maintains the talent pool already in the country for future generations to look up to.
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