Mrs. Mayowa Olaniyan is the Group Managing Director of Chams Holding Company Plc. She is also a Chartered Accountant and the first female GMD of the company.
In this interview with Nairametrics, she speaks on the challenges of mobile payment systems in the country, the challenges and the measures that the Federal Government should adopt to enhance the operations of technology companies as key drivers of economic growth and development.
Nairametrics: Are there policy measures the Federal Government can put in place to enhance the operations of technology companies in Nigeria?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Nigeria, as a country, has sufficient policies on technology. Several policies were established on Information and Communications technology, (ICT) and National Science and technology.
We should focus on the proper execution of these policies to realize the objectives. Specifically, we will crave support for the existing innovation hubs or to establish new hubs by the different tiers of government.
Nairametrics:What are the challenges of mobile payment systems in the country, and what is the way forward?
Mayowa Olaniyan: I acknowledge that we have achieved a good millage in Nigeria on mobile money payment, though there are still some issues to be fixed:
Limited access to smartphones and internet connectivity in remote areas. Many people in the country, especially in rural areas, still use feature phones. Mobile Money Operators (MMO), therefore, had to devise means to address this huge population through various solutions.
Also, Insufficient interoperability between different mobile payment platforms.
There should have been a better system where the central switch could interconnect all MMOs such that they can access all MMOs through one integration.
Currently, after connecting to the central switch, NIBSS, you will still have to reach out to other MMOs to profile your company on their platform the Federal government might need to do more on this aspect to encourage collaboration and interoperability between different mobile payment providers.
Furthermore, there are concerns about security and fraud risks associated with mobile transactions. This is one area that requires lots of attention to minimize the impact of the risk. KYC might need to be enhanced, and robust security measures implemented by the MMOs.
Nairametrics: How can fintech companies assist Pension Fund Administrators in Nigeria?
Mayowa Olaniyan: The positive impact of Fintech in simplifying operations of the PFA is numerous. The humongous reconciliation problems are fast disappearing due to innovative fintech solutions. We developed a solution in Chams for the PFA called PENCENTRAL.
Many organizations and HR firms have adopted it to remit the monthly pension. It standardizes schedules and helps the PFA to match the payment to the schedules. This eliminates reconciliation issues and the rigorous work of creating an Excel spreadsheet every month.
The schedule is created in a standardized format so the banks can easily credit the contributors as the remittance is made. This removed the manual work from the PFA and enhanced their operations.
Nairametrics:Are the fintech companies in Nigeria competing in the global market?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Yes, some fintech companies in Nigeria are competing in global markets. Nigeria has seen a significant rise in fintech innovation and entrepreneurship, with several local companies expanding their services beyond the domestic market.
These companies leverage technology to provide innovative financial solutions and bridge gaps in financial services, such as mobile payments, remittances, lending, and savings.
Some Nigerian fintech companies have successfully expanded their operations and gained recognition internationally.
They have attracted investments from global venture capital firms and expanded their user base across different countries.
Additionally, partnerships with international companies and collaborations with global organizations have helped Nigerian fintech companies access broader markets and gain exposure on a global scale.
Some examples of such companies that have gone to global markets are Flutter Wave, Andela, VFD, pay stack, Interswitch, Banks, etc.
Nairametrics: How do the government’s unstable policies affect technology companies in Nigeria?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Just like policies affect other aspects of the economy and all kinds of businesses, policies affect technology companies too.
As I mentioned earlier, our company has been in operation for 38 years now, and so we have witnessed various kinds of government policies and the aftermath of those policies.
Some have been beneficial for business, and others not so much. What has kept us thriving is our adaptability to these policies.
Besides being a publicly quoted company, our businesses are regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria due to the operating licenses in the Group. Hence, we are accustomed to government policies.
Nairametrics: How will you respond to the market perception that Chams has not been generating value for its shareholders since its inception?
Mayowa Olaniyan: This perception can be attributed to a lack of adequate information. Though the company hasn’t been paying substantial dividends Chams like many companies had it tough in the past, especially on the challenges of project execution in Nigeria.
However, a strategic decision was made to change the business model and refocus the company to deploy innovative business solutions.
Currently, Chams is on a growth trajectory, and this is being reflected in its share price on NGX We are confident that shareholders will soon smile to the bank.
Nairametrics: What is your assessment of Chams’ 2022 financial performance?
Mayowa Olaniyan: The Chams 2022 Financial Performance was significantly improved compared to the previous year, even though a minimal Loss was reported due to impairments.
However, the revenue grew by 57% compared to the Year 2021. A noticeable growth in the Assets and improved shareholders’ fund was achieved.
Nairametrics: What should the shareholders expect in the 2023 performance?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Shareholders should have noticed an impressive performance in 2023 by now based on the Q1 and Q2 financial results that were published.
As of mid-year, there has been over 130% growth compared to that of last year. And based on the ongoing business activities, the next half-year’s performance will supersede that of the first half-year.
Hence, the result is expected to be rewarding.
Nairametrics: Is the plan by Chams to do the proposed right issue still on the drawing board? Can you shed light?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Some business expansion is taking place. Cardcenter recently expanded into a new line of business such as printing sim cards for MTN, Airtel, etc., and a plan is in place to produce the sim locally before the end of this year.
Chamsswitch has just concluded the plan to process China Union Pay Cards.
Considering the volume of business between Nigeria and China, this is a massive project that will require a lot of funds.
Hence, there will be a need to raise funds, and different options will be considered, including the right issue.
Nairametrics:Doyou agree that Chams’ share price reflects the Company’s intrinsic value on NGX?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Chams HoldCo. has five Subsidiaries, and an Investor placed a value of N21 billion on one of the Subsidiaries early this year in a bid to acquire a significant interest.
This speaks directly to the intrinsic value of the Chams HoldCo. and evidence that the company’s share is grossly undervalued.
Going forward, we will make information about the company and its subsidiary’s activities more available in the public domain.
Nairametrics: Congratulations on your appointment as the first female Group Managing Director (GMD) of Chams Holding Company PLC. How did you respond to this appointment?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Well, I am humbled and grateful for the privilege to serve the company in this capacity. As the first female Group Managing Director of Chams HoldCo., I must commend Chams HoldCo for the rewarding culture and for aligning with global organizations to promote gender equity.
Over the years, I have seen the Group evolve and grow to what it is today, so I’m set to advance the Group.
Nairametrics: You have risen through the ranks to emerge as the GMD. What is your immediate preoccupation?
Mayowa Olaniyan: My current preoccupation is to lead the company in the right strategic direction, and to create more value for the stakeholders while elevating the Chams brand. Chams HoldCo. plays key roles in the Fintech industry by deploying innovative digital solutions. Strategically, the Group will be repositioned to be more efficient and strive for business expansion.
Nairametrics: You emerged as the GMD when the Nigerian economy was facing harder challenges, including rising inflation, general complaints over the pains of removal of fuel subsidy, controversy on the implementation of a unified exchange rate and prohibitive interest rate; what measures is Chams putting in place to create value for its shareholders?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Chams HoldCo. has been in operation for 38 years now, and so we have been through all kinds of economic seasons, and each time, we came out the other side.
As I see it, the recent challenges provide an opportunity for companies to adapt innovatively.
I know the consequences will be far-reaching for all stakeholders, but we must consider our options for strategic decisions to move forward.
As we adjust to the economic realities, we’ll explore the benefits of the unified exchange rate to grow our business beyond the border.
Nairametrics: Recently, Chams got a Holdco payment license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Can you provide an insight?
Mayowa Olaniyan: Chams HoldCo was granted the Payment Service Holding Company (PSHC) license earlier in the year, inJanuary 2023. This is a result of the existing Switching and Mobile Money Operators (MMO) licenses in the Subsidiaries.
The PSHC license enables us to establish a business institution that will further increase the company’s pivotal role in the payment industry across Africa and ensure global relevance and an opportunity to reposition the Group.
Nairametrics: Any plan to make Chams more visible under your administration?
Mayowa Olaniyan: At this stage, it is a necessity to make Chams’ brand and its activities visible. It is not just about visibility but our continued roles in upholding the tenets of Post Listing Requirements of NGX whereby quoted companies must provide regular information to the market.
The brand management plan is in place to ensure that the company brand is visibly positioned by deploying an integrated communication model.
The company will leverage strategic industry events to inform the market of the recent developments within the group.
Also, several corporate social responsibilities have been recently rekindled.
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