Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Transactions On Electronic Platforms Hit Record N40 Billion

Transactions involving movement of funds through the electronic means have reached a new high of N40 billion on a daily basis, a development that shows that more people are embracing the cashless policy.

"As a result of the growing awareness of the cashless policy, transactions recorded by the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) under its NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) and Nigerian Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) have increased significantly to about N40 billion daily", said an official of NIBSS.

NIP and NEFT are products used by corporate organisations to make payment for huge transactions electronically, in line with the cashless policy.

Data gathered from NIBSS also showed that as a result of the cashless policy, cheques, Point of Sale (PoS) and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) usage have continued to record huge volume and value.

Head, Shared Services at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Chidi Umeano said that the cashless project has continued to record huge success, adding that the initial challenges associated with the alternative channels were being tackled.

"Banks have continued to roll out more innovative electronic payment platforms to meet customers' expectations. The cashless policy has been very successful in Lagos considering when we started and how far we have gone in terms of PoS deployment.

"When we started the cashless Lagos, we had less than 10,000 PoS in Lagos, but currently we have over 150,000 PoS machines in the state alone", said Umeano.

As a result of the significant success recorded in Lagos, the apex bank last week said it planned to extend the cashless policy to Rivers, Kano, Anambra and Abia States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from July 1.

CBN Deputy Governor Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo had explained: "When we talk about nationwide roll-out, we are also being careful to ensure that we make use of resources in a smart way. Cash doesn't flow in the same volume in every state of the federation. What we would do in July is to look at those other market clusters where large of volumes are transacted and add them to Lagos.

"It is cheaper that way because the resources you need to cover the entire 923 square kilometres in Nigeria are huge. But you can achieve almost the same thing by looking at the pattern of cash distribution and you can cover about 90 per cent of that by adding about five more locations to Lagos. That is: Abuja, Kano, Aba, Port Harcourt and Onitsha.

"That is basically what we want to do. We would get those five clusters and add them to Lagos. When we add those five locations to Lagos, then we would have covered about 90 per cent of the cash volume. We would see how far that goes and once we perfect that, we then begin to look at contiguous market centres around these locations and we would gradually cover the entire country."

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