GAT Summit 2022: Are regulators working to collaborate with tech innovators?

Godfrey Elimian
Regulators and Innovators discuss in GAT Summit
Why regulators and innovators need to collaborate for the tech space | GAT Summit

The Government and Tech Summit (GAT Summit) 2022 hosted by Technext in collaboration with Ripples Nigeria featured a panelist session which engaged regulators and innovators from the tech space in Nigeria.

The first panel session themed Regulations and the Fintech space: To regulate or not, confronting the dilemma comprised Chibuzo Anthony Efobi, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mohammed Ibrahim Jega, Co-founder, Domineum Blockchain Solutions Ltd, Bukola Olutayo, Managing Director, Stellas Bank, Jeffery Williams-Edem, Fintech profession and growth expert, Bola Ajomale, Former MD, NASD Plc and William Phelps, Investment Manager, Adaverse.

The session was hosted by Rufai Oseni, renowned TV presenter at Arise TV, Nigeria.

Host of first panelist session between Regulators and innovators at GAT Summit
Rufai Oseni, Arise TV Presenter

Related story: Here is a list of confirmed speakers for the GAT Summit 2022

What the regulators are saying?

The first speaker, Mohammed Ibrahim Jega, Co-founder, Domineum Blockchain Solutions Ltd gave an insight on how regulation can shape the tech space.

He noted that technology has been able to diversify the ecosystem, and has been able to provide platforms for individuals to leverage in bringing innovation into reality and creating wealth.

Panelists session comprising regulators and players at the GAT Summit

Jega noted a communication gap, hence, the importance of such a summit like this.

Bukola Olutayo, Managing Director, Stellas Bank noted that there was a lag between protecting the citizens and ensuring that technology was promoted.

Regulation should protect the citizens and also foster technology, because technology will help the economy develop too.

Bukola Olutayo, CEO, Stellas Bank

Olutayo called on regulators to make policies that are adaptive and that works with the current situation and development.

The pace of technology is very fast and the regulators are finding it hard to catch up. There is a lot of innovation coming up, and it would be better for regulators to catch up.

Another major issue raised by one of the panellists, Bola Ajomale, Former MD, NASD Plc was the ease of doing business and the sustainability for businesses in the country. He noted that an enabling environment is needed through laying down of key infrastructures. Secondly, there is a problem as to which crypto can be allowed and how they can be controlled.

According to William Phelps, Investment Manager, Adaverse, the fintech space is disruptive in nature. So, providing regulation would particularly be useful to the tech space going by other examples in other countries.

The major question is to how regulation could translate the risks associated with innovation into tech. This he says can help convert the potentials in the tech space for the Nigerian economy

One of the panelists mentioned that that regulators can mean well for players but the lack of communication from them to the players make the whole situation complicated. If there is no proper understanding of how the industry plays or operates, then there is the possibility that such policies would fail.

You don’t just mention somethings as if it’s a fiat, we are in this together to make sure the country get better.

Also the idea of a tech union was raised by the panel. They claimed that a place were both regulators and players in the industry come together to understand and formulate policies and regulations for up-to-date happenings and development in the industry is very important.

Olatubosun Alake, Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology to Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, speaking at the GAT Summit - Regulators discuss their roles
Olatubosun Alake, Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology to Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, speaking at the GAT Summit

Speaking also at the maiden edition of the Government and Tech (GAT) Summit in Lagos on Thursday, governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos painted a picture of a state that his administration is determined to usher into the fourth industrial revolution and become a tech hub on the continent.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Olatubosun Alake, his Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology said in his keynote address tagged “Regulating for Prosperity: the Lagos Example” that the government have been working and rolling out policies aimed at creating and encouraging innovations in the state.


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