More Nigerians Embrace Alternate Transaction Channels as Paucity of Cash Worsens
Other alternative transaction methods Nigerians have been adopting included USSD, internet banking, mobile app banking, Point of Sales (POS), e-wallet among other electronic channels of transactions.
The dream of Nigeria moving into a full cashless economy appears to be gaining momentum as more citizens have been embracing alternative transaction channels following the worsening paucity of the naira.
At various trading outlets and industries, merchants and buyers are seen using other means of transferring money.
Findings by Investors King revealed that other alternative transaction methods Nigerians have been adopting included USSD, internet banking, mobile app banking, Point of Sales (POS), e-wallet among other electronic channels of transactions.
The federal government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had informed Nigerians of the need to mop out huge cash in circulation, lamenting that many Nigerians have hoarded the naira notes and that it was affecting the economy. For this reason, in 2022, the CBN announced a Naira redesign policy, withdrawal limits, and encouraged Nigerians to adopt electronic forms of transactions.
The apex bank had said that the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawals across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000 and N5 million respectively and advised customers to use alternative channels to conduct their banking transactions.
The CBN had said that the use of cash payments would reduce in the country by 2025 and noted that this dream is already contained in its Payments Vision 2025 document.
It explained that by 2025, the country will have a cashless and efficient electronic payment system infrastructure to service all the sectors of the economy.
The bank had asked Nigerians to start adjusting, adding that the use of cash will naturally slow with the ‘mobile first generation’, which will be economically active by 2025. Thus, the bank document explained that one of the focuses of the PSV 2025 is enhancing the cashless policy of the CBN.
The bank assured that the full implementation of the PSV 2025 agenda would contribute to the overall national economic growth and development of the country.
As banks witness huge crowds, especially at the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) nationwide, people have been going digital for their transactions while others still depend on cash.
This was confirmed by the National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, Victor Olojo. He said many residents now seraph vigorously for POS operators and other alternative channels of transactions.
He said some POS agents could not get cash for business and so, have shut down operations while adding that the development further forced people to go digital in their transactions.
Though, this policy has brought untold hardship and frustration on Nigerians, many are surviving it and adjusting to the cashless mode that the nation wants to fully implement.
Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) recently conducted a survey on how Nigerians are adapting to the new order and found out that electronic and cashless transactions are gaining ground.
It said the scarcity of the naira has made POS transactions increase from N573.72 billion recorded in January 2022 to N807.16 billion in January 2023.
The increment, according to NIBSS, is 40.69 percent. It said the total cashless transactions in Nigeria rose by 45.41 percent year in year out to N39.58tn in January 2023.
It said it monitors cashless transactions through the Nigeria Instant Payment System and Point of Sales terminals adding that the total NIP transactions for the period increased by 45.52 percent y-o-y from N26.65tn as of January 2022 to N38.77tn as of January 2023.
According to the inter-bank system, the usage of electronic channels for transactions grew by 45.50 percent y-o-y from 438.48 million times to 638 million times in the period under review, saying that there were 955,234 deployed PoS terminals in the country as of January 2022.
Osinbajo Lauds China on Loans Offered to Africans, Repayment System
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has commended the Chinese government for the loans given to African countries and its repayment system.
According to Osinbajo, the Chinese loans have reduced the reliance of Africans on international financial institutions like the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund amongst others.
He stated these at King’s College, London on March 27, 2023 while delivering a public lecture on ‘China’s Investment in Africa, Investors King reports.
The Vice President lauded China for constantly meeting the needs of African countries which has reduced the burden on the western institutions.
He further mentioned that the loan servicing system was made easy to aid the African economies, especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020.
Through its Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), China offered 73 low income economies suspension of principal and interest payments.
“Chinese banks provided 63% of the total debt relief while being only owed 30% of the debt service payments due,” Osinbajo noted.
The VP pointed out that China is the largest provider of foreign direct investment which provides jobs for hundreds of thousands of Africans.
On Chinese investment in Africa, Osinbajo stated that $254 billion was disbursed in 2021 which was calculated as four times the volume of US-Africa trade.
“China remains by far the largest lender to African countries. Chinese companies have also taken the lead in exploiting minerals in Africa, many now in lithium mining in Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, DRC, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Most African countries are rightly unapologetic about their close ties with China. China shows up where and when the west will not or are reluctant.
“And many African countries are of the view that the ‘beware of the Chinese Trojan loans’ advice from the west is wise but probably self serving. Africa needs the loans and the infrastructure. And China offers them.”
“All of Chinese lending to Africa is only 5% of all outstanding public and publicly guaranteed debt in low and middle income countries, compared to 23% held by the World Bank and other multilaterals. Chinese lenders account for 12 per cent of Africa’s private and public external debt,” the vice president stated.
FirstBank Announces a Name Change of its Subsidiaries, Reiterates its Commitment to Boosting Cross-border Payments
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier financial services institution, has announced a phased corporate name change of its subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and Sub-Saharan Africa.
FBNBank UK, FBNBank Sierra Leone, FBNBank Gambia and FBNBank DRC are the first set of subsidiaries effecting the name alignment. They are now known and addressed as FirstBank UK, FirstBank Sierra Leone, FirstBank Gambia and FirstBank DRC. The Ghana, Senegal and Guinea subsidiaries will be next in the phased name change implementation.
The name change is being implemented to align the subsidiaries with the parent brand and to enjoy the strong heritage and brand equity built by FirstBank Nigeria in its 129 years of banking leadership. This will further enhance the quality-of-service delivery resulting in better brand clarity, uniformity and consistency across all the markets where the Bank operates.
A leading financial inclusion services provider, FirstBank Group is committed to its nation-building goal. It has taken giant performance strides on its unique growth trajectory as it continues to build distinctive capabilities through partnerships and the constant drive to reinvent itself.
This performance is evidenced in the numerous awards and recognitions bestowed on the institution. These awards include Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investing in Africa 2023 by Global Finance Awards; Best Corporate Bank in Western Africa 2022 by Global Banking; Finance; Best CSR Bank Africa by International Business Magazine in 2022; and ranked as number one in Nigeria in terms of Overall Performance; Profitability; Efficiency and Return o Risk by the Top 100 African Bank Rankings 2022 released by The Banker Magazine from the stables of Financial Times.
In addition, in Euromoney Market Leaders, an independent global assessment of the leading financial service providers conducted by Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc., the Bank was crowned: Market Leader in Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR); Market Leader in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG); Highly Regarded in Corporate Banking and Digital Solutions and Notable: in SME Banking.
Speaking on the name change, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of FirstBank Group, said ” the name change which coincides with FirstBank’s 129th founding anniversary (March 31 st , 2023) is indeed a milestone reflective of our resolve to continuously provide the gold standard of excellence and value as we put our customers First. The new identity of the subsidiaries contributes to an enhanced brand presence. It helps our customers and stakeholders better appreciate the value of the diversified products suites, competitive pricing and extensive business networks the FirstBank Group offers. These include our commitment to boosting cross-border businesses including trade and investment opportunities essential to enhancing trade relations amongst countries, thereby strengthening the economies of host communities and reducing poverty,” he concluded.
First Bank Denies Forgery Allegation in Face of Legal Battle with Loan Defaulter
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has issued a denial against the forgery allegation made by Francis Chukwumah Nwufor, the owner of Whiteplains British School.
In the lawsuit marked CR/266/2023, the federal ministry of justice had accused the bank of forging a “tripartite legal mortgage without the consent of Mr Francis Chukwumah Nwufor, with intent to commit fraud.”
In an official statement, First Bank described the accusation as a spurious allegation made by a delinquent debtor, which is aimed at tainting the bank’s loan recovery efforts and legal enforcement of its security collateral interest in line with the terms of the loan.
The bank emphasized that it operates by the highest standards of ethical conduct and will under no circumstances involve itself in any act of illegality. It further assured its numerous customers, stakeholders, and the general public that it remains focused on its mission of providing the best financial services.
The case has been adjourned until May 8th, as the prosecution lawyer stated that all the defendants had yet to be served with the charge.
It is common for loan defaulters to resort to legal battles with banks and this case is no different. However, it is important for both parties to ensure that the matter is handled in a transparent and legal manner.
First Bank’s denial of the allegation is a clear indication that it is standing firm against any attempt by recalcitrant debtors to fritter away depositors’ funds under its custody. The bank’s focus on its mission of providing the best financial services to its numerous customers is commendable and should be the guiding principle for all financial institutions.
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