…Predicts negative Q2 economic growth***
…As NECA commends CBN over MPR reduction***
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has adjusted timelines for reversals or resolution of refund complaints on electronic channels with effect from June 8.
The CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
Okorafor explained that the move was aimed at further enhancing service quality, particularly quick refunds when customers experience failed transactions, dispense error or dispute.
He said the adjustment on failed “On Us Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions,” when customers used their cards on their bank ATMs, would now be instantly reversed from the current timelines of three days.
He added that where instant reversal failed due to any technical issue or system glitch, the timeline for manual reversal should not exceed 24 hours.
The director further stated that on refund for failed “Not on us ATM transaction”, where customers used their cards on other bank’s ATMs, should not exceed 48 hours from the current three to five days.
He said the resolution of disputed and failed POS or Web transactions should be concluded within 72 hours from the current five days.
According to him, all banks are directed to resolve backlog of ATM, POS and web customer refunds within two weeks.
Meanwhile, Okorafor noted that the key service providers in the Nigerian payment system had also committed to establish integrated dispute resolution platform for the industry and enhance their payment system infrastructure and processes to reduce incidences of transaction failure.
“Members of the public are therefore requested to refer to the updated guidelines for the operation of electronic payment channels on the bank’s website www.cbn.gov.ng for further details”. In a related development, the CBN also predicted negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the country in the second quarter (Q2) 2020 owing to COVID-19 pandemic that had affected the economy.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made the prediction while fielding questions from journalists after the Monetary Policy (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
Emefiele explained that the reason was the fact that Nigerian economy, just like global economy, was shut down during the month of April, May substantially and to some extent also in June.
He said with this development, he was almost certain that growth in the second quarter would be in negative.
He further stated that the unfortunate situation arising from COVID-19 pandemic had led to health and economic crisis of unprecedented proportions.
According to him, the situation has affected U.S, Europe and China economies as well as developing countries.
“Luckily and pleasantly surprised, Nigeria first-quarter growth in 2020 came down from 2.5 per cent from fourth-quarter 2019 to 1.87 per cent.
“Understandably by the virtue of the fact, we began to really lock down our economy in the month of March because we were already seeing some interesting growth trajectory in the month of January and February following the recovery that we have made in 2019.
“So, we saw what I could call a somehow pleasant GDP of 1.87 per cent” he added.
The governor noted Nigeria was part of global economy and if the country was able to manage this impact as quickly as possible, and join others in getting out of the difficult situation, the better for the nation.
In the meantime, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has commended the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for reducing the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 13.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
Its Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, gave the commendation on Friday in Lagos.
Olawale said that the development signalled a pro-growth response.
The CBN had on May 28 reduced its benchmark interest rate, the MPR, to 12.5 per cent from 13.5 per cent.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the decision of the MPC was necessitated by the need to stimulate growth and recovery of the economy in the face of the impact of COVID-19 challenges.
The apex bank governor said the decision was made in a bid to stimulate the economy ahead the projected economic recession arising from the impact of coronavirus pandemic.
Olawale said that such a move could lead to a reduction in the cost of credit, increase investment and impact positively on output growth to address the current global challenges.
“With the negative effects of COVID-19, the twin challenges of the global oil prices and over-exposure of our economy to external shocks, this decision is a welcomed development by the monetary authority to protect the economy.
“We applaud the current decision of the MPC, which aligned perfectly with the association’s earlier recommendation,” he said in a statement.
The director-general, however, called for synergy between the fiscal and monetary policies in order to move the economy forward.
He called for more robust and coordinated stimulus packages for the sectors that were worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Also, opening up the non-oil economy for more productivity, to reduce the shock expected from falling global oil prices, will be a welcome development in pulling the economy from nose-diving into recession.” Olawale said