NASS Seeks Collaboration With Nigerian Fintech, ICT Players - Sundiata Tech


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Friday, August 31, 2018

NASS Seeks Collaboration With Nigerian Fintech, ICT Players

Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, the House of Representatives has extended a rare hand of fellowship to players in the financial technology (Fintech) and ICT space.
The House of Representatives, through the chairman of the committee on ICT, Mohammed Ogochi Onawo said it is eager to build a collaborative relationship that help provide an enabling environment for stakeholders in Fintech and ICT.
The chairman made the announcement in Lagos, during a two-day visit of leading technology business associations in Lagos organised by SystemSpecs, the owners of the popular fintech service and the treasury single account payment collection software, Remita.
Onawo noted that prior to now, members of the legislative chamber would issue summons when they want to meet with the players. Hence, the notion that the lawmakers were inaccessible to private sector or does not understand the real issues at stake.
“What you are doing is important and we want you to partner with the legislature; let’s see how we can protect you,” he said at a roundtable meeting with members and leaders of FintechNGR. “We have seen what SystemSpecs is doing. Most of you have been blinking in the dark and we do not sing your songs.”
The chairman of the committee also disclosed that as part of its olive branch to stakeholders, it was investigating the National Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF) which is collected and remitted by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The NITDA Act that established the fund provides that every company with an annual turnover of N100 million and above remits one per cent of the profit before tax to the fund. In 2014, the FIRS said it collected N144 million from NITDEF levy. One 2018 report revealed that NITDA generates N177 million annually from the fund.
Proceeds from the fund is partly meant to be accessed by ICT startups in need of funding, however some of the entrepreneurs on the roundtable said bureaucracy on the part of NITDA makes the prospect near impossible.
Uche Obiofuma, group head, Division Management SystemSpecs, said stakeholders need to engICT
age political leaders more. Hence, the Nigerian lawmakers are providing the platform for dialogue at a tech conference that will bring together regulators and players to address challenges in Nigeria’s technology space.
“Efforts towards this ICT roundtable is to build the bridge between industry and legislature,” Obiofuma said.


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