Nigeria is feeling the heat: Monehin


Nigeria’s Preisdent Goodluck Jonathan raised concern over the exclusion of the country’s masses in Africa’s largest econnomy.

Jonathan made the comments at the World Economic Forum in the federal capital of Abuja leaving industry experts to conclude that the country’s leadership was feeling pressure following the recent rebase of the economy.

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“The recent rebasing of the gross domestic product has put Nigeria in the spotlight, there is nowhere to hide, you have to either perform or be ridiculed,” Daniel Monehin, MasterCard’s division president for Sub-Saharan Africa told CNBC Africa on the side-lines of WEF Africa.

“The administration is feeling that pressure to do the right collaborations and do the right things,” Monehin added.

He also noted that the selection of the country as the 2014 WEF Africa host nation was a recognition of the role Nigeria is playing on the global scale.

Monehin noted that there was a recognition that there is a very big market in Nigeria requiring productivity to meet that demand.

The MasterCard head said technology was also critical in Africa’s financial services sector noting that the continent had done a positive job though more was required.

“There is need for financial services that is driven by technology, innovation and skills. The technology that exists today is mind blowing in terms of the speed of transactions, driving down costs and in terms of coming up with solutions that addresses different needs of the consumer.”

“Technology that is there needs to be leveraged as it already exists and does not need to be reinvented and from our implementations in Africa, the continent is advanced as some of existing security technologies in use is not yet operational in developed countries like the United States.”

He applauded the continent saying Africa was moving in the right direction however, saying the speed of adoption needed to increase.

MasterCard operates in 210 countries with Nigeria as its hub in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Monehin said that his company has also come up with interventions for banking the unbanked population.

“This is one of our huge focus areas in Nigeria factoring in that over 70 per cent of the population does not have access to financial services,” he said.

“We have launched a national identity card in partnership with an agency of the federal government that is coupled with financial payment instrument allowing consumers to transact and receive money.”