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Nigeria’s payment system is internationally acceptable – Suleyman

Executive Director, FSS2020, M.D Suleyman

Strategies from the Financial System Strategy (FSS2020) have helped in transitioning the Nigerian payment system from the analogue system to a more digital one, where it is now nationally utilized and internationally acceptable and recognized, M.D Suleyman, Executive Director of FSS2020 has said.

Suleyman stated this, yesterday, when he paid a courtesy visit alongside directors from his team, to the headquarters of Daily Trust newspapers in Abuja.

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He said the success story is making Nigeria stand out among other African countries such that “other countries of Africa are coming to Nigeria to study how we got to where we are so that they can adopt it.”

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Noting that the Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) are the backbone of the economy, Suleyman said the strategy is adopting new ways of catering for their needs to ensure that every individual participates in economic activities to further deepen the economy.

He acknowledged that MSMEs in Nigeria have challenges with regards to access to credit as most financial institutions shied away from lending to them; considering them as high risk areas where recovery is almost impossible and because they do not have a central identity base and fixed assets as collateral.

“We felt there is need for us to move away from fixed assets collateral to something that will allow MSMEs to use what they have that is not actually tangible. The intangible assets like their cars, women’s jewelries, equipment, grinding machines can be used to access credit to enable them to expand their businesses through the National Collateral Registry (NCR),” he said.

Suleyman further said the NCR, which is up and running, stressing that accessibility is seamless adding that assets worth N1.6 trillion have been registered so far.

He further noted that livestock such as cows and goats can also be registered to ensure that everybody can have access, hence deepening the GDP and the participation of the people in the economy.

He stated that the CBN in 2017 mandated that “we align the strategy to the ERGP by developing policies to synergize the ERGP document.”

The Financial System Strategy (FSS2020) was developed in 2007, aimed at calibrating the financial system as a means of ensuring economic growth and development in order to grow the Nigerian economy to be one of the 20 largest in the world by 2020.

Suleyman said the strategy is anchored on three pillars: deepen the Nigerian domestic financial market, integrate the Nigerian financial market and the international market, and to support the real sector in promoting economic growth.

“That was how we came about bringing in the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) sub-sector into the strategy document so as to support the real sector in our bid to develop and deepen our economy. That’s how the strategy was crafted,” he stated.

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