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CBN set to make Nigeria predominantly cashless economy



CBN set to make Nigeria predominantly cashless economy

…President says Islamic Development Bank to support Nigeria on economic, social infrastructure***

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Tuesday in Lagos that it would take decisive steps to ensure that Nigeria operated a 100 percent cashless economy.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, made the assertion at the first-year anniversary of the Central Bank Digital Currency, the eNaira.

“The destination as far as I am concerned is to achieve a 100 percent cashless economy in Nigeria.

“I know that those who doubt us will say that 100 percent cashless is unattainable. Yes, it is true! But, Nigeria must move from being a predominantly cash economy to a predominantly cashless economy.

“At this time, I can say from what I have read from online banking to introducing the POS to ATMs, to mobile banking, working and collaborating with the Ministry of Education, I want to say that we have provided all the necessary infrastructure that should enable us make cashless a nationwide journey.

“It is not something that some of us will like but, we would in the coming weeks and months make pronouncements that must make cashless go nationwide.

“I believe part of those pronouncements will begin from tomorrow and there will be some breaking news tomorrow about it.

“Even the bankers committee will hold a special bankers committee meeting tomorrow to deliberate further on this, so let’s expect the news,” Emefiele said.

He said that the eNaira, which was another product added for Nigerians to embrace a cashless economy, had in its first year of operation, recorded over eight billion transactions.

He said that the apex bank would continue to refine, fine-tune and upgrade the eNaira as it was a journey of possibilities and not a one-off event.

According to him, Nigerians should expect to see additional functionalities in the coming months.

Emefiele said, “The additional functionalities include onboarding of revenue collection agencies to increase and simplify collections.

“Collaborating with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs through the creation of sector-specific tokens to support the Federal Government’s social programmes and distribution of targeted welfare schemes in a bid to lift millions out of poverty by 2025.’’

He assured the apex bank would continue to act decisively to encourage innovation, while at the same time protecting the interests of consumers and other stakeholders.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, congratulated Emefiele for the courage to introduce the initiative and the success it had recorded in the last one year to further deepen the policy of inclusion in the financial ecosystem.

Sanwo-Olu, represented by Dr. Rabiu Olowo, Commissioner of Finance, Lagos State, urged the apex bank to try to win the trust of the people in this product.

“The need to engender the trust of the people in this product cannot be over-emphasised.

“That’s why financial literacy advocacy education campaign is very important as we move on, to get this product ready for its versatility, where it can be quickly and easily deployed to give out stimulus checks to the lowest income groups who need government handouts and intervention the most, especially during recession or during a significant situation like the one we experienced during COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the epitome of the influence that this innovation can have on inclusive growth and development of a nation,’’ Sanwo-Olu said.

The eNaira, designed to provide Nigerians with a cheap, safe and trusted means of payment within the domestic and global economy, was introduced Oct. 25, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari, given the potential benefits it portends for a digital economy.

Its objective is to enhance financial inclusion, support poverty reduction, enable direct welfare disbursement to citizens and support a resilient payments ecosystem.

It is also to improve availability and usability of central bank money, facilitate diaspora remittances, reduce the cost of processing cash, and reduce cost and improve efficiency of cross-border payment among others

In another development, The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will continue to engage Nigeria on its strategic priorities areas such as economic and social infrastructure, the President of the bank, Dr. Muhammad Aljasseer has said.

Aljaseer made this known while briefing newsmen while visiting project sites in Kano State on Tuesday.

The president, who said that it was his first time visiting Nigeria or Sub-Saharan Africa,  commended the Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project (KSADP) for meeting the expectations of the bank, which is the sponsor of the project whose objective is to reduce poverty by strengthening food security in Kano.

He said that the project funded by the bank and the Lives and Livelihood Funds (LLF), has contributed to poverty reduction and strengthened food and nutrition security in the state.

“The bank has been monitoring Kano’s performance. I am impressed that you are working very hard to meet the bank’s expectations.

”The IsDB has approved a total financing of 1.8 billion dollars for Nigeria.

”The 1.8 billion dollars facility for Nigeria is made up of 971 million dollars for project financing by the bank, and about 288 million dollars provided by the Islamic Corporation for Development (ICD)–IsDB’s private sector affiliate,” he said.

He further said that 477 million dollars was in form of trade operations by its trade arm, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), and 90 million dollars from other funds and operations.

“Our investment guarantee arm has provided 1.1 billion dollars as business insured and 1 billion dollars as a new insurance commitment to help attract businesses and insure them.

“The IsDB active portfolio in Nigeria now stands at 1.2 billion dollars and we look forward to strengthening our bilateral relations.

“The bank is keen to continue to engage Nigeria on its strategic priorities areas such as economic and social infrastructure and advisory support for strengthening Islamic financial services,” he added.

Aljasser also inaugurated Veterinary Reference laboratory renovated and equipped by KSADP at Gwale Veterinary Clinic, in Kano.

The president also visited Watari dam infrastructure, renovated by KSADP, with funding from the IsDB and the LLF.



Banking & Finance

Naira Gains 0.22 Percent at Investors, Exporters’ Window



NGX: Market Gains N36bn; as Naira Gains, Exchanges N441.38 to Dollar

…Exchanges at N771.69 at the Investors and Exporters window***

The Naira appreciated against the Dollar on Thursday as it exchanged at N771.69 at the Investors and Exporters window.

The local currency gained by 0.22 percent compared to the N773.42 it exchanged for the dollar on Wednesday.

The open indicative rate closed at N777.82 to the dollar on Thursday.

A spot exchange rate of N799.90 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N771.69.

The naira sold for as low as N700 to the dollar within the day’s trading.

A total of US$121.60 million was traded at the investors and exporters window on Thursday. 

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Banking & Finance

PoS Charge: Lagos Warns Fuel Stations Against Consumer Rights Law Violation



The Lagos State Government, through it Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), has warned filling stations owners on the contravening the Consumer Rights Law.

Mr Afolabi Solebo, the General Manager, Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), gave the warning in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Solebo warned fuel attendants and business owners to desist from all forms of extra charges arising from the use of Point of Sale (PoS) machines for transactions.

He said the warning became imperative due to several complaints received from consumers about illegal charges by some business outlets, especially filling stations.

Soleno noted with dismay the sad occurrence where consumers were charged extra cost for payment made through PoS machines for the purchase of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), by operators of some filling stations in Lagos State and some owners of Small and Medium Enterprises.

He also warned business owners and operators of filling stations, including attendants, to desist from charging extra cost on payment made through the PoS.

According to him, such charges violate consumer rights and constitute unfair trade practices.

”The agency is concerned with the rising consumer feedback by motorist and consumers of PMS product particularly.

”We will continue to monitor this sensitive and evolving situation and remain committed to the protection of consumers in Lagos State,” Solena said.

He, therefore, urged motorists and consumers to report to the agency or visit LASCOPA annex offices closest to them, any filling station or operator that contravened the rights of consumers.

Solebo assured that such violators would be dealt with accordingly. 

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Banking & Finance

Tribunal Imposes N120m Fine On Stanbic- IBTC Bank, Over Failed Transaction



The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT) sitting in Abuja on Thursday imposed a fine of N120 million against  Stanbic-IBTC Bank over the bank’s failure to complete a transfer request for a customer.

it is yet to be determined, if the bank would appeal the decision.

In a split decision of two to one, the tribunal convicted the bank for contravening the provisions of Section 130(1)(a) of the FCCP Act, 2018 and Section 5(2)(8) and (9) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Regulation on Instant Interbank Electronic Transfers.

The tribunal said the fine was imposed due to the bank’s failure to comply with the 10 minutes or at most one-hour mandatory timeline for failed transfers to be reversed as provided by Sections 154 and 155 of the FCCP Act, 2018.

The lead judgment delivered by Hon. Sola Salako-Ajulo also ordered the bank to pay the claimant, Mr Clement Osuya, the sum of N1 million as the cost of filing the action.

“The tribunal holds that in as much as the defendant (IBTC) failed to comply with the two instructions of the claimant to transfer the sums of N500,000 to another account in Access Bank, as no transfer took place at both times, defines that the defendant breached the banker-customer contractual relationship between the two parties,” Ajulo said.

Experts task CBN on local solutions to reduce inflation rate

 The tribunal, however, refused to award the sum of N5 million to Osuya as compensation on the grounds that he failed to prove any injury he suffered as a result of the failure of service delivery by the bank.

Hon. Ibrahim Yakubu concurred with the verdict of Salako-Ajulo while the presiding judge, Hon. Chuma Mbonu disagreed and gave a minority judgment.

Mbonu in his minority judgment held that the tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the petition.

According to him, the tribunal has the powers of appellate jurisdiction and not of original jurisdiction and he consequently struck the suit out for lacking in merit.

Osuya had filed a petition against the bank challenging the failure of the bank on two occasions to transfer the sum of N500,000 from his IBTC account to his Access bank account.

He claimed that the money was for the payment of school fees for his children.

He told the tribunal that on Sept. 8, 2022, he filled out a form under the NIS Instant Payment option for a transfer of the sum of N500,000 to his Access Bank account.

He held that whereas the money, on both occasions left his IBTC account as the account was debited, it never arrived in his Access bank account because it was not credited.

Osuya told the tribunal that reversal on the first transaction was done after 24 hours while that of the second transaction was reversed after 72 hours.

He further alleged that this neglect of duty of care by the bank caused him trauma, embarrassment, and a dent in his reputation as he was forced to collect a loan.

The bank, through its counsel, Mr. Marcel Osigbemhe had blamed the failure of the transaction on the third-party NIPS service.

Osigbemhe, in a brief remark, expressed his displeasure over the judgment, saying he wondered how his client could be convicted when there were clearly no charges brought against it.

Counsel to the claimant, Ms. Deborah Solomon, for her part, thanked the Tribunal for the well-considered judgment.

The fine is to be paid into the tribunal’s remita account.

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