Embrace digital payment channels, CBN urges Nigerians
Says Nation’s Payment System Can Handle Surge In Online Transactions
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the Nigerian payment system infrastructure is robust enough to handle the growing surge in online transactions. It therefore urged Nigerians to embrace alternative payment channels such as eNaira, USSD and other internet banking facilities as it moves the country towards alternative payment regime as obtainable the world over.
Ag. Director, Corporate Communications Department, Dr. Abdulmumin Isa, stated this yesterday during the CBN Special Day at the ongoing 34th Enugu International Trade Fair.
He stated that Nigeria could not afford to be left behind in the financial ecosystem, adding that the recent redesign of some denominations of the naira approved by President Muhammadu Buhari was in the overall interest of the country and the economy and to align with the international best practice.
Represented by an Assistant Director, Esu Imo, Isa said the policy had started strengthening the macroeconomic fundamentals, moderating inflation and up-scaled financial inclusion rate. He also said the policy has led to relative stability in exchange rate and supported the efforts at combating banditry and ransom taking in the country.
He said the apex bank in collaboration with the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) recently launched the National Domestic Card Scheme – the first in Africa, stressing that the idea was expected to not only lower operating costs for banks but also reduce the huge foreign exchange costs associated with operating foreign card schemes.
He said the bank has continued to encourage various interventions aimed at stimulating production and productivity across the real sector, disclosing that over 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating or rearing 21 agricultural commodities on 6.02 million hectares benefitted from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
Earlier, the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) expressed worries about the recent increase in interest rate by the CBN to 18 per cent in an aggressive push to contain the nation’s inflationary pressure.
President of the Chamber, Dr. Jasper Nduagwuike, in his welcome address, said that the high interest rate regime would likely have adverse effect on the accessibility of bank credit by businesses.
“There is no doubt that access to credit and cost of fund have relationship with increasing or decreasing level of productivity, GDP and stabilising our economy,” he said. He urged the bank to find a way through policy measures to save indigenous businesses and the industrial sector from further glaring cringe.
“We are not unmindful of the various intervention schemes of the CBN to support and encourage the growth of businesses in various sectors of the economy. However, we counsel that more sustainable strategies and intervention schemes should be adopted,” he said.