Skills Deficit: Stakeholders call for fintech talent needs survey

fintech

Fintech specialists and other stakeholders have tasked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigeria Security Commission to conduct a talent needs survey.

According to the professionals, the survey will help the regulators to understand the type of manpower challenges the industry is facing and to assist the education and training institutes to develop relevant curricular.

The keynote speaker and President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu said the specific competencies identified by the survey would be a starting point for Fintech professionals, HR, educators and policy makers to understand what skills are needed in the industry.

The Fintech and Human Resources (HR) experts spoke during the Fintech Talent Summit – a co-located but focused event – within the annual Lagos Fintech Week 2020 which was held virtually last week.

Unanimous in their submissions, the specialists expressed the views that such a talent survey would empower the education and training centres to develop relevant programmes that will enable students to gain access to the Fintech and HR industry with maximum preparedness.

“The Nigeria Fintech ecosystem has become a leading network in Africa’s financial service industry through innovative solutions in lendtech, insurtech and wealthtech among others.

“The industry is regarded as a dominant force in Africa. However, despite the huge potential of Fintech, access to and retention of best-in-class talents is a growing concern within the industry”, the mavens agreed. 

According to a PwC report in 2017, 77 per cent of the Chief Executive Officers surveyed view skills shortages as business threats.

In his presentation, Mba-Uzoukwu explained that the skill shortages in the industry cut across hard and soft skills.  “Not only technical skills, but also specific communication and response behaviours that are highly valued in the Fintech industry”, he emphasized.

The PwC report highlighted the hard skills that are in shortfall to include communication, creativity, high emotional quotient (EQ), block chain, programming languages such as Python, C++, C#, GoLang, SQL, JavaScript and Java ML, AI, Deep Learning and cyber security.

Speaking on the Community-as-a-Service (CaaS): Connecting with the right Talent for Current and Future Opportunities, Professor Abiodun Aibinu,   Head of Department, Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Minna, identified 10 skills that are relevant to the future of work.

He listed EQ, critical thinking, active learning with growth mindset and judgment as well as decision making. Others include interpersonal communication, leadership, diversity and cultural intelligence, technological and embracing skills.

Also, the Executive Director at Innovectives Group, Ayo Oladimeji said “for us as Fintech experts, our talent pool is our greatest asset.  And this goes a long way to determine growth and success of the venture.

“To grow and achieve the mission of the business, we must help our team members to thrive by providing an inclusive and progressive work atmosphere,” he added.

The Fintech and HR professionals that also spoke at the summit include the Director General, Ekiti State Directorate of ICT, Dr. Hakeem Bakare; founder, Programmos Limited, Amos Emmanuel; CEO, Spacepointe, Sayu Abend; and CEO, Computic Limited, Moses Braimah.

Others include the founder and CEO of Riby Finance, Salami Abolore; Team Lead, Innfact Concepts, Akinbowale Alabi; the CTO, Inits Limited, Femi Taiwo and Head of Engineering at SystemSpecs, Mujib Ishola.

The faculty also had the CTO and Executive Director at Precise Financial Systems, Osifalujo Adedotun; Head, HR and admin, United Securities, Omobolanle Imafidon as well as the Chief Operating Officer, Automarket, Timi Tope Olagunoye.

Founder of Technology Times, Shina Badaru; Co-Founder/CEO, Ebanqo, Inc, Charles Ifedi; Group Head, Ringer One Africa Media (Roam), Tunde Adeniran; and Co-Founder, Social Lender, Bade Adesemowo were the others.