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CBN Unveils Fintech Plans

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has detailed its ongoing interactions and regulatory measures for financial technology companies (fintechs).

CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso provided this explanation during a press briefing in Abuja yesterday, where he announced a new interest rate. To combat inflation and stabilize prices, the CBN raised its benchmark interest rate, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), by 150 basis points to 26.25 percent from 24.75 percent. This marks the third increase in less than three months. However, Governor Cardoso emphasized that there is no simple solution to the inflationary challenges.

Despite this, he expressed optimism that the various tools employed by the bank to curb inflation and stabilize the foreign exchange market would produce the desired results in the coming months.

These announcements were made during the 295th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Inflation has been on a consistent rise for over 13 months, reaching 33.69 percent year-on-year, driven by food inflation.

Regarding fintechs, Governor Cardoso explained the CBN’s move to tighten regulations on their operations. He clarified that the intention is not to hinder their business but to ensure the Nigerian public benefits maximally from the sector. “The fintechs have definitely not been singled out for any exceptional kind of treatment. On the contrary, we are very proud of what the fintechs have achieved for the country and their positive global impact. Our goal is to support them and help strengthen their accomplishments,” he stated. However, he noted the CBN’s concern about illicit flows and money laundering within the sector, necessitating increased surveillance.

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Cardoso also mentioned that, despite the heightened regulatory guidelines, no fintech organization has had its license revoked by the CBN. “We have had conversations with several of them and explained the need for them to reassess their activities and strengthen their operations,” Cardoso explained.

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