Nigeria’s position as a continental financial services powerhouse seems to be moving up.
Analysts say the finance and services sectors will make more wealth, if given the right assistance.This is because states, such as Lagos, have good foundations for a thriving financial technology (RinTech) cluster and an opportunity to benefit from a technological revolution that plays to its strengths, both as a financial and an Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre.
In the last two years, convergence of digital and financial sector strengths and growing global recognition of Nigeria’s role as a key financial hub for West Africa is fuelling its fast emergence as one of the world’s most exciting financial centres. The buzz around fintech has gained attention from traditional financial institutions, start-ups, venture capitalists and regulators.
Banks are revisiting their models to prepare for fintech.
But as fintech organisations are emerging, they are facing challenges of attracting and retaining the talents for their growth and development.
Founder/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Start Innovation Hub, Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, Mr. Hanson Johnson, urge youths to acquire skills for the jobs of the future.
In a period of rapid technology, Johnson said the environment for innovation shoulds be attractive and supportive and that the skills needed for this are available.
He sees states, such as Lagos, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom, leveraging the benefits of financial services and ICT, ensuring that innovation is tailored to financial services and their customers.
Johnson said technology skills are among the highly-sought-after by organisations. The shortage of key technology skills will impact not just traditional banking and financial services organisations, but also the rapidly-burgeoning array of fintech-specific organisations, he added.
For this, Johnson believes youths would need IT proficiency to stand any chance of landing a new job across the economy. Coding, he added, is becoming a highly desirable and sought-after practical skill by employers. This follows a rise in roles, such as app and web developers and data analysts. He has seen technologies such artificial intelligence and cloud computing drive change.
As a result, he said a new approach to skills and training is required. This is, particularly, true for the large segment of financial sector providing services, which may be automated or augmented by artificial intelligence in the future.
According to him, it will take a collective effort to ensure that no Nigerian get left behind as the government strives to transform the economy for the digital age.
His start innovation hub is training developers that can be hired out to such tech firms.
He said the skills provided to developers would make to pursue self-employment or pick up jobs.
In Akure, the Ondo State capital, Curators University, an empowerment organisation, is plugging the skills gap in new technologies, using youths in new areas, such as block chain,Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), Data Science, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Curators University is a non-degree-awarding technology firm offering cutting-edge technology and entrepreneurship education suited for the 21st century.
The university, which took off last January, has provided a hub for youths searching for jobs in emerging technology areas. No fewer than 1000 youths may have been trained on data science at its Coven hub.
Youths become data scientists after graduating from the Coven Labs, Curators University of Data Science and AI Boot camps. Its boot camp, which held in Akure, attracted participants from Oyo, Osun, Ekiti states, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Source: The Nation