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Digital financial activities like mobile transfers and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data are already severely hampered by the widespread resignation of highly qualified information technology personnel from the banking sector. 

According to analysts, Nigeria’s efforts to increase financial inclusion, foster digital innovation, and support the expansion of fintechs are at risk since the migration of talent leaves holes in the effective operation of mobile banking services.

“It is going to affect the case of innovation in the financial services sector because the focus will now be on stabilising current platforms,” Ayodeji Ebo, managing director/chief business officer at Optimus by Afrinvest Limited, said

Ebo predicted that the increased number of failed transactions will have an impact on users’ confidence in the platforms. 

A banker in Lagos named Stephen Nejo said that it would cause a delay in the handling of consumer complaints.

“It is a tough one because one person is doing the job of 10 persons or very few experienced people are busy training new intakes that don’t have the experience,” Nejo said.

Financial inclusion has been cited as a major enabler for achieving seven of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 because to its significance in lowering severe poverty and increasing shared prosperity. 

For this reason, the Central Bank of Nigeria has been establishing programs that can help more individuals access the financial system in an effort to minimize the number of people without access to a bank account. 

According to Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access, Nigeria’s financial inclusion percentage increased from 63.2 percent in 2018 to 64.1 percent in 2020. The 2020 figure, however, falls short of the CBN’s aim for 2020 of 80 percent financial inclusion.

The country’s banked population climbed by 15.6 percentage points to 45.3 percent in 2021 from 29.7 percent in 2011, according to a Global Findex report by the World Bank. 

Abubakar Suleiman, chief executive officer at Sterling Bank Plc, lamented how the banking industry had been hurt by the huge resignation during a news conference held following the Bankers’ Committee meeting in April.

“So many of our very experienced talents, especially in the area of software engineering, are either leaving the industry or leaving the country,” Suleiman said.

Since late 2020 and early 2021, a movement known as the “Great Resignation,” also known as the “Big Quit” and “Great Reshuffle,” has seen employees willingly leave their employment commitments. 

The banking industry is extremely vulnerable. Olamide Adeyeye, a human development researcher based in Lagos, describes how millions of naira or dollars may be at danger if someone’s account were hacked. Banks are currently feeling the heat, which might eventually have an impact on their bottom line. 

Due to the country’s social and economic conditions, which have been worse over the past six years and include things like inflation, unemployment, and insecurity, among others, Nigerians with globally marketable skills have been moving abroad on study and work visas. 

The country’s inflation rate reached 20.50 percent in August 2022, the highest level in 16 years, 10 months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Out of 69.7 million people, 23.2 million are unemployed as of the fourth quarter of 2020.

Local talent is being driven abroad to work for foreign businesses in order to earn dollars as a hedge against inflation and devaluation due to rising inflation and the ongoing depreciation of the naira versus the dollar. 

Nigerians now have more options for working remotely internationally thanks to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Senior blockchain developer Kassy Olisakwe stated that Nigerian banks frequently outsource their fundamental operations to handlers (individuals who assist them in processing transactions, storing data, etc.) outside the banking system.

“Delay is often caused by having too many middlemen. It is easier for them to outsource because the talent to build the systems are scarce.”

Data from the British government reveals that from 20,427 in the same period of 2021 to 65,929 in June 2022, the number of Nigerians given student visas by the United Kingdom surged by 222.8 percent, reaching its highest level in four years. 

Nigeria increased by 109.1% to 15,772 skilled work visas in June 2022. The number of student visas issued by Canada to Nigeria went from 10,550 in 2020 to 13,745 in 2021, a rise of 30.3%. 

In an effort to close the skills gap, it was revealed last week that some banks had changed the educational requirements for their hiring procedure.

According to a review of job postings from recruitment websites, Access Bank, First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First City Monument Bank, and Polaris Bank have lowered the minimum eligibility requirements for their 2022 Graduate Trainee Programs from the second-upper class (2.1) and first class grades that were previously required from applicants to a second-class lower grade (2.2).



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