Dr Segun Aina, founding President of the Africa Fintech Network (AFN) and Board Chairman, FintechNGR, has urged financial technology service providers in the country to embrace and pay attention to good and well-established corporate governance practices as they expand to new markets beyond the country and continent.

Aina stated this while speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Odu’a Investment Company Limited held in Lagos, recently.

He said, “We have issues about lack of acceptable corporate governance in startup businesses who are largely small businesses without the desired structures when starting, but over time they will grow and require sound corporate governance practices to scale.

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“This is why stakeholders in the industry, including the organisations I belong to, are now focusing and putting a lot of emphasis on corporate governance.

“The first set of fintechs are now becoming big institutions. As they move into new markets, the demand and need for acceptable, compliant and tested governance structures and practices becomes very imperative.

“That is desirable for the next stage of growth in the fintech space and with that in place, Nigeria fintechs can operate without regulatory hiccups and compete anywhere in the world.”

He added, “Innovation related to creating non-existing solutions, these are things that were not in existence before and there is no way the government or regulators would have regulated what does not exist. Therefore, when it comes to existence, they will have to come up with how to regulate those innovative outcomes in a way to ensure, in most cases, the public interest.

“This may create encumbrances for some startup founders and entrepreneurs who were not in breach of any rules on commencement but now have to follow new guidelines and policies put in place to regulate their activities and operations.”

“What is important is that policies have to be business-friendly and must recognise that there is a need to innovate and the process ought to carry along all the stakeholders. Regulatory policies should not stifle innovation but be seen as supportive of and advancing creativity. The good news is that things are changing now for the better with the financial services regulators, especially in the fintech space.”

Aina expressed belief in bequeathing Nigerian youths with digital skills to solve unemployment and create many new businesses that provide solutions to societal challenges.

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