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ATMC Optimistic About Banks’ Surrender of ATMs

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ATM Consortium (ATMC) has expressed optimism that all the banks would relinquish their off-location Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as plans are underway for eight banks to surrender some 1,500 machines to the company.

Noble Ekajeh, managing director, ATMC, told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that hopes are high that the rest of the banks would surrender their off-location ATMs to the consortium considering that those eight banks which have agreed to honour the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive are at the forefront of the Nigerian banking scene.

This is coming against plans by some banks mounting pressure on CBN to rescind its earlier directive for them to re-locate their ATMs at public places.

On what he thinks CBN’s position on the issue might be in the future, he noted that he could not be very sure, but that the compliance of the eight banks would culminate in CBN compelling others to conform with the directive, even if another consortium has to be created.
CBN had in April issued circular barring banks from deploying ATMs at public places such as hotels and airports as well as mandating them to redeploy such ATMs on or before June 30th of this year.
In an attempt to comply with this directive, the eight banks which own ATMC namely First Bank, Union Bank, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, UBA, Afribank, Fidelity and Wema Bank, have agreed to hand over all their offsite ATMs to the company; proposing that they be equity contributions to the consortium so as to increase its capital base. But Ekajeh noted that details of the implementation were still being worked out.
However, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that ATMC has begun to attract other banks to its family, offering them the opportunity to use their offsite ATMs as equity contributions to the consortium.
In another development, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has decried the CBN directive to banks over deployment of offsite ATMs. The institute advised CBN not to decide who operates ATMs, but concentrate on licensing and setting standards and guidelines for market operators; and that all consortiums that meet set guidelines should be approved to operate ATMs, while allowing banks time to freely create or join any consortium of their choice.
“There should be a push for the integration of banking halls, the web, mobile phones and ATMs to improve service delivery, velocity of money, ease of payment and a stronger financial services sector,” said CIBN in a statement, adding that this vision is contrary to CBN’s encouragement of the creation of a monopoly, which might suppress competition at the expense of the customer.
The institute also noted that fraudsters are already attacking bank customers through ATMs, and so banks need to manage such and other risks, requiring time especially for agreements and integration purposes if they must join a consortium.
Erastus Akingbola, CIBN president, said it was not advisable for many banks to have their ATMs in one location, and seemed optimistic that CBN would shift grounds on its directive.
 


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Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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SIPTEO Arrests 7 for Allegedly Cloning Prepaid Meters

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Special Investigation and Prosecution Taskforce on Electricity Offences (SIPTEO) Northwest zone has apprehended seven persons in Kaduna, said to specialise in metre clonning, theft, vandalism.

SIPTEO Arrests 7 for Allegedly Cloning Prepaid Meters

Parading the suspects on, Aliyu Bamalli, assistant superintendent of Police and zonal head of the task force, said two members of syndicate were on the run and being trailed.

Bamalli said the suspects were arrested following consistent reports of the activities of the syndicate.

The suspects arrested were Iliya Maigeri, Alex Zamani (chief cloner), Gambo Saidu,  Solomon Luka, Joseph Stephen, Monday Joseph, and Francis Ahmadu.

ASP Bamalli said the suspects cloned 13 metres from two units with same number, adding that the suspects were arrested in Barnawa in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“We arrested the syndicates following diligent investigation and manhunt, because we work with Electricity Distribution Companies to guard against energy theft,” he said.

 


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Jumia Extends Food Platform to Five more Cities in Nigeria

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Jumia Food has expanded its food delivery service to five additional states in Nigeria as the company seeks to further drive the growth of online food and beverage delivery in the Nigerian market. The new tier-2 cities on the Jumia Food map are Minna, Benin City, Kaduna, Abeokuta, Kano, and Ilorin.

Massimiliano Spalazzi, Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria, said the extension of Jumia Food to these additional cities is part of Jumia’s resolve to expand the growing popularity and thrilling experience of online fast food services to customers in all Nigerian states.

“The food industry is very relevant to the Nigerian economy. With today’s covid-19 realities, the growing popularity of fast food, coupled with the growing trends for convenience, safety and value for money, has opened up opportunities for the food market in Nigeria.

As the leading online marketplace in Nigeria and Africa, it comes naturally to us to help drive the penetration of this service through our technology and reach of our logistics network. By doing this, we are also helping to explore the food segment of the Nigerian Agricultural sector which has the potential of huge contribution to the Nigerian economy,”he said.

In 2020, Jumia recorded a major service improvement in its existing footprints in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Ibadan by increasing its speed of delivery, with an average delivery time as fast as 26 minutes in Port Harcourt, 27 minutes in Lagos, 28 minutes in Ibadan, and 30 minutes in Abuja.

Jumia’s 2020 Nigeria Food Index report showed that the country’s agricultural sector experienced a major boom in 2019, significantly responsible for the 90.23 percent contribution made by non-oil sectors to Nigeria’s GDP.

The index further showed that the food and grocery retail market had total revenues of $44.9 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7 percent in the last eight years.

The report also showed that overall grocery retailing continues to expand, as consumers seek comfort and convenience when shopping for food. The food segment was the most lucrative, with total revenues of $33.7 billion, equivalent to 75 percent of the market’s overall value.


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Tech4Dev Partners FCDO on Digital Literacy Training in Northern Nigeria

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As part of the efforts to empower vulnerable groups in rural clusters in Northern Nigeria with the digital skillset required for the future of work and advanced learnings for the 21st century in Nigeria, Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Tech4Dev) and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) have signed a resilience training agreement to carry out the Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Northern Nigeria.

The program is meant to introduce learners in underserved communities and vulnerable groups in Northern Nigeria to digital literacy, with the intent of equipping them with the basic digital knowledge required to succeed in the 21st-century and the emerging new normal from the COVID19 pandemic.

The Basic Digital Literacy for Rural Clusters in Northern Nigeria program aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4 & 10 (No Poverty, Quality Education & Reduced Inequalities). By investing in digital literacy for vulnerable people living in rural clusters in Northern Nigeria, allows for the reduction in the poverty index by increasing employability of the beneficiaries and closing the digital skills gap of needed in the digital economy.

The initiative is designed to directly impact 1,000 beneficiaries, over a twelve-week period in ten rural clusters, across ten states in Northern Nigeria. Targeting 50% of the beneficiaries to be vulnerable women and girls (aged 8-18; 45-65), 30% being Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and 20% individuals of other vulnerable groups.

Speaking at the virtual media briefing, Diwura Oladepo, Executive Director at Tech4Dev reiterated the need to increase the number of digital literate vulnerable populations and people living in underserved communities in Northern Nigeria, in her welcome address during the briefing she mentioned that “it has become pertinent, especially on the path of the new normal, to focus on digital literacy allowing vulnerable populations to leverage technology for commerce, education, communication, improve their socio-economic recovery, pandemic resilience, and build a more prosperous future”.

In the same vein, Idongesit Udoh, Head of UK Government’s Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, said that “Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan, Nigeria’s Economic Sustainability Plan as well as

Nigeria’s Digital Economy Strategy have identified digital skills as key to economic prosperity for all Nigerians. With COVID19, digital literacy has become a must-have. Hence, the UK Government is once again demonstrating timely support not only for Nigeria’s inclusive economic development but also in building effective COVID-19-related resilience. This project is already helping to close the digital divide, enable inclusive digital access and build communities’ resilience to current and future pandemics.”

According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), about 230 million jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills by 2030. This figure is due to increasing use of technology and automation of jobs. At Tech4Dev, we prepare people for the future of work by creating opportunities for decent work through technology-based training, which include coding skills, deep tech skills, employability skills and basic digital skills.


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