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MasterCard boss calls for inclusive digital economy

The President, sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard, Mr Raghav Prasad, has said there is a need for government to create an inclusive digital economy that will formalise the informal economy, boost growth and productivity.

He also said digitalisation of Nigeria’s economy would accelerate the financial inclusion programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He said this while making a presentation at the Nigerian Digital Economic Summit held in Abuja.

Prasad also stressed the need for strategies that would leverage digital technology to fast-track economic growth.

With Nigeria’s informal sector accounting for over 65 per cent of GDP, the MasterCard boss said digitisation would promote the growth of small businesses.

He explained that across Africa, and in Nigeria, more than 90 per cent of payments were still done in cash.

The cash extracts, he noted, had a heavy toll on the economy.

He said based on research by the company, the cost of handling cash was about 1.5 per cent of a country’s GDP.

This cost, he noted, included the burden of printing the cash, storing it safely, transporting and providing the on and off ramps for cash to enter and leave the economy.

For example, he said in 2018, over N64bn was spent in printing notes in Nigeria.

He said, “ We believe partnerships are the only way to make this real and we all need to come together to commit to a common outcome of creating inclusive digital growth in Nigeria.”

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