E-Naira Countdown: Nigerian Experts Question Selection of Bitt Inc as Central Bank’s Fintech Partner
Nigerian fintech entrepreneurs have slammed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s decision to select Bitt Inc as its fintech partner. They insist that the choice of Bitt Inc, a Barbados based firm, undermines central bank claims that it is “fighting for the naira in the forex market.”
Bitt Inc’s Market Capitalization
In fact, as the report by Itedgenews explains, some players in the country’s fintech industry are now lobbying for the CBN to rescind this decision. They cite the small number of people employed by Bitt Inc (three) as well as the fintech firm’s “lower market capitalization when compared to any of Nigeria’s major fintech companies” as some of their key concerns.
Others, like fintech analyst Abu Idrissee, see the choice of Bitt Inc ahead of local companies as a continuation of Nigeria’s practice of snubbing local solutions.
“With an abundance of indigenous online payment processing platforms and over 30 Fintech companies, Nigeria has the talent, expertise, experience, working models, and capacity to develop the e-naira, or an Africa wide e-currency, locally and in a manner that incubates and enhances our national income, honour, and dignity,” explained Idrissee.
Validity of Bitt Inc’s Contract With CBN Questioned
Meanwhile, opponents of the CBN’s choice are suggesting that the contract itself may not meet standards. According to the report, Nigerian ministries, departments, and agencies are required by law to seek clearance from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) before embarking on any project.
Consequently, some opponents of Bitt Inc are now asking the NITDA “to consider if the CBN e-naira contract meets the strict compliance to IT procurement processes.”
Still others like fintech analyst Adedoja Olawale have suggested that the selection of Bitt Inc proves that the CBN itself is not practicing what it preaches. Olawale explained:
We demand an explanation for the decision of the CBN to engage a foreign company that has no pedigree compared to dozens of our indigenous Fintech. This is sheer capital flight.
With just under a month before the CBN starts to test the e-naira, it remains to be seen if the central bank is going to take heed of these warnings and reverse its decision to select Bitt Inc.
Do you agree that Bitt Inc is not the right fintech firm to partner with the CBN? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.