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Nigeria’s Odd Mobile Money System Is Set Up To Fail Its One Main Job

By  |  March 11, 2021

Two words: Mobile money.

It’s quite the succinct term for a concept so vital it could make or mar an entire nation’s economy in today’s world. And perhaps this is truer for countries in sub-Saharan Africa than others. In Kenya, for instance, the equivalent of half the country’s GDP was transacted via mobile money in 2018.

By the GSMA’s definition, mobile money is a service in which the mobile phone is used to access financial services. All that talk of financial inclusion and banking the unbanked in Africa? Mobile money takes most of the credit.

That’s mostly true, unless the discussion is specifically about mobile money in Nigeria, in which case, there is a very conspicuous aberration that somehow often goes unnoticed. It’s an anomaly that seems to have been normalised.

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