World Bank commends Nigeria on digital platform

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The World Bank Group says Nigeria is improving on the provision of digital platforms for services.

The bank said in Abuja that the government created a central portal to improve the delivery and quality of public services.

It said that with the size of Nigeria’s economy, the report highlighted the enormous opportunities Digital Financial Services (DFS), a driver of financial inclusion, could have for this growing market.

According to the bank, the financial sector has already benefitted from investments in payment systems and financial markets infrastructure, such as the Bank Verification Number (BVN).

It said that a new report revealed that although Nigeria was the largest mobile market in Sub Saharan Africa with a strong mobile broadband infrastructure and a vibrant digital entrepreneurial ecosystem.

It however, noted that millions of Nigerians still lacked formal identification records to access a range of public and private services and lack of infrastructure and connectivity in the country’s rural areas was a key challenge.

The bank added that financial inclusion in the country had effectively stalled with around 60 million Nigerian adults without access to a formal account.

The statement quoted Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria as saying “Realising the full benefits of the digital economy requires Nigeria to focus on accelerating improvements in five fundamental pillars of the digital economy.

It listed the areas to be digital infrastructure, platforms, financial services, entrepreneurship and skills”.

“To ensure that the country is digitally enabled by 2030, investing in infrastructure to bridge the digital divide and creating an enabling regulatory environment for the digital economy to thrive is of paramount importance. “

The statement noted that given Nigeria’s large, young and entrepreneurial population, digital entrepreneurship could become an engine of growth.

According to the statement, Lagos is a mature and active ecosystem with dynamic incubators, venture capital companies, and digital start-ups.

It disclosed that digital entrepreneurship ecosystems were also growing in the cities of Abuja and Port Harcourt, with a potential for expansion to other cities.

It however, added that lack of early-stage financing and limited market opportunities outside Lagos and Abuja remained key constraints.

It further announced the inauguration of the bank’s first Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic Report during an eNigeria 2019 hosted by the government.