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Airtel Sets Regional Trend with Salary Payments

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Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, is emerging as one of the most preferred financial services providers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, helping to further deepen the country’s financial sector.

‘Airtel Money’, the company’s mobile money platform, is already making a revolutionary mark in the country with the government embracing it to make seamless large-scale salary payments from December last year.

Now, civil servants including the military, the police force, pensioners and other civil servants can receive payments on their mobile phones.

Louis Luballa, managing director of Airtel DRC said: “In May 2013, about 66,000 civil servants in DRC received their salaries via Airtel Money, a demonstration of how technology can make things easy. With Airtel Money, Airtel DRC is paving the way to a new era of financial transactions at the tap of a mobile phone, helping to save time going to the banking halls. The introduction of this revolutionary service in the DRC market clearly demonstrates the key role Airtel is playing in empowering local communities in DRC and across Sub-Saharan Africa.”

DRC remains one of the countries with limited banking facilities in Africa but rapid development in ICT sector, particularly mobile telephony is sending a strong message about the continent’s potential to innovate. Africa is now considered as the fastest emergent continent in the ICT sector growth after Asia.

According to a study by the African Development Bank last year, “the number of subscribers on the continent has grown almost 20 per cent each year for the past five years. Mobile telephony penetration in Africa has increased exponentially from less than 2 million subscribers in 1998 to over 500 million in 2011.”

The study, named Mobile Financial Services in Africa: Reaching All Sections of the Population, singled out DRC as one of the countries where mobile banking is taking services to remote areas where conventional banks have been physically absent or too expensive.

In December 2012, with the support from the DRC central Government and in partnership with the Congolese Association of Banks and local banks, more than 1,100 policemen received their salaries via Airtel Money.

The initiative, launched in Kinshasa, was lauded for its innovativeness and stakeholders agreed to extend it throughout the country. Right now, more than 66,000 Civil servants – policemen, teachers, militaries…- are experiencing the tremendous benefit of Mobile banking as they are receiving their salaries via Airtel Money every month.

Airtel has been at the forefront of technological innovations. When it launched the Airtel Money services in DRC in March 2012, the telecommunications company introduced the concept of mobile banking in the Central African country. The mobile Money platform has been widely adopted by customers for the purchase of airtime, Person-2-Person cash transfers and utility bill Payments.

Registering for Airtel Money, the Company said is a simple process. A Customer does not require a bank account to open an account. However, he will be required to register their personal details with a valid photo ID card. This will automatically register the user’s SIM card. After which, the customer is able to begin using the service. Airtel Money is a safe and secure service that is password-protected through state-of-the-art security systems.


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FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank, Listed Among Top African Corporate Brands

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and its parent company, Standard Bank, have emerged amongst the top winners of the 2020 Tech Times’ Africa LinkedIn Corporate Brand Awards.

The Stanbic IBTC Group emerged the second position in the category, with total votes of 3,515, out of 24 firms nominated for the award. Standard Bank placed the fourth 2,494 votes.

Nominations for this award opened to the public on July 1, 2020 and closed on July 14.

Shortlisted nominees were announced on August 24 while voting commenced immediately and voting ended on September 8, 2020.

The Corporate Brand Awards was instituted by Tech Times’ Africa, an online platform for leading technology, innovation, and startup stories.

Expressing his delight on the awards, Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that both Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank had been deliberate and consistent in making a remarkable impact in Africa’s financial sector.

“Our sincere appreciation goes to the organisers of the Africa Corporate Brands Awards and to every member of the public who voted. This is a reflection of the high level of trust and confidence that the public has reposed on us,” he added.

Dr Sogunle further said that Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC would remain relentless in portraying the organisation as one of the most influential corporate brands in Africa.

He stated: “Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank have relentlessly contributed to driving the growth and development of the African financial ecosystem. These awards affirm our efforts, and we are encouraged to raise the bar continually.”

The Africa Corporate Brand Award is designed to identify and recognise outstanding companies. It also projects their achievements and impacts on African society and the world at large.


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