By Martin Ekpeke
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya has called the Central bank of Nigeria to consider issuing mobile money licenses to telecommunications companies, saying they have the capacity to make the most impact in Nigeria’s quest to have financial services spread across the country as a result of its huge coverage.
Ogunsanya, made the call yesterday while delivering a paper with the theme: ‘The Role of Communications Industry in Economic Growth’at the Interconnectal Hotel in Lagos, during the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.
The Airtel boss argued that it is the only telecom companies that can deliver financial inclusion to all Nigerians, considering the massive number of telecom subscribers in the country. “The non inclusion of telcos in the mobile money licensing by the Central Bank of Nigeria is the major limitation to the uptake of mobile money in Nigeria. The CBN needs to look at this again,” he said.
He argued further that even the most widely spread bank in Nigeria with 700 branches does not have the capacity to deliver banking services to all Nigerians, unlike the smallest telco with over 17 million subscribers.
He added that mobile money is successful in Kenya today because Mpesa, which is acclaimed to be the most thriving mobile money platform in Africa is being driven by Safaricom, a telecom company.