David-West gave the advice on Saturday at the first-ever Virtual Graduates’ Induction and Prize Awards Day organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos.
The Newsmen reports that the theme of the programme was: “Digital Economy: The Role of Professional Bankers”.
David-West said: “Our financial services ecosystem has recorded significant progress in areas like Bank Verification Number (BVN) and Instant Payments.
“The surgeon bank branches after the first phase of the lockdown presented some interesting challenges to the ecosystem and the digital economy in general.
“My conclusion is that there is still a lot of work to be done,” she said.
The expert urged the institutions to embrace digital financial services, provided through digital channels sufficiently to reach 100 million Nigerians.
David-West said: “So, when we compare financial inclusion levels with mobile telecommunications penetration or even internet usage vis-a-vis their maturity, we can see that again 100 years versus 20 years, we still have a lot of gaps to close.
“The informality of the economy and the dominance of cash still requires innovation capabilities that extend beyond digitalising cash to developing financial solutions that really meet the needs of the larger population that we want to deal with,” she said.
Also, Dr Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy commended CIBN for choosing the topic “Digital Economy”, describing it as appropriate.
Pantami listed four things key to the digital economy as digital identification, Broadband penetration, smartphones and Bank accounts.
“These are key to the digital economy; two are directly under our mandate, broadband penetration and digital identification are directly under the government.
“While Bank account is more related to your activities to promote the use of the bank, smartphones are for individuals,” he said.
Pantami also said that there were two components to driving the digital economy- digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship.
He said that the Federal Government had unveiled a lot about digital economy and strategy.
The minister said that the government had approved the redesignation of the ministry from the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
According to him, the approval was granted on Oct. 17, 2019, and presented before the Federal Executive Council on Oct. 21, 2019.
The minister said since the renaming, the ministry has had many digital services all over the country.
He noted that the banking system, activities at the ports, customs, tax institutions, among others have been digitalised.
Earlier, Mr Bayo Olugbemi, President of CIBN, said that it was imperative for the sector to rethink on its approach to digital economy which has become the new normal.
Olugbemi said: “You will agree with me that COVID-19 has accelerated the space of digital evolution.
“As such, it has become imperative for us to rethink our approach to digital economy which has become the new normal.
“It is in the light of this, and in the recognition of important role banking and finance industry plays in the development and growth of the economy that we have decided to Xray at this event today.”
Newsmen reports that a total of 1,311 candidates received certificates – 621 candidates on the flagship of Associate of Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB) programme; 34 candidates on Chartered Banker MSA Programme; 20 candidates on MDC ACIB linkage programme and 636 candidates on the Microfinance Certification Programme (MCIB).