Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it won’t back down the re-introduction of processing fees on deposits and withdrawals on certain thresholds by individual and corporate bank customers in seven states of the country.
This is despite the recent outcries and criticisms that trailed the announcement.
The apex bank had directed deposit money banks in the country to begin implementation of this cashless policy from Wednesday, September 18, 2019 and since then, many have lambasted the CBN.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, governor of the central bank, while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) two-day meeting on Friday in Abuja, said this cashless policy was not new and that since its first introduction in 2012 and withdrawal in 2014, Nigerians had five years to bring their cash into the banking space.
“Fees on excess cash withdrawals are not new and have been in place since July 2012. Deposit fees are also not new.
“They have been in place since inception but later withdrawn in 2014 following feedback on the need for stakeholders to fully embrace electronic payment before implementation
“We believe that after five years and with all the options and channels that are currently available that we need to really embrace the best practices by saying we should go cashless in Nigeria,” the CBN chief said during the briefing monitored by Business Post.
Based on data between 2012 and 2018, Mr Emefiele said the cost of currency management in 2014 reduced by 13 percent following the first introduction of the policy including charges on both deposits and withdrawal in the ‘six cashless states’ throughout 2013.
However, Mr Emefiele disclosed that due to the suspension of the policy on deposit charges in 2014, currency management cost went up from 2015 and increased year-on-year basis to 2018 at an annual rate of 33 percent.
Mr Emefiele further noted that the policy was put in place to encourage the use of electronic means of transaction and reduce but not eliminate cash-based transactions.
“It is in the public’s interest to promote an efficient payment system via the cashless policy which helps to reduce the punitive cost of cash processing passed on to money deposit banks”
He noted that the strategy will help promote an open and transparent system because “Cashless policy also improves transparency in financial dealings and reduction in crime such as advanced fee fraud, graft, ransom fee payment, and extortions.”
He also said that since the pilot of the cashless policy that electronic transactions had increased substantially within the Nigerian economy.
According to Mr Emefiele, “POS transactions increased by 4692 percent and we are talking about N2.27 trillion from just N48.6 billion in 2012 to N2.3 trillion at the end of 2018”
He added that electronic transfers increased significantly by 1967 percent or N76.5 trillion from N3.8 trillion in 2012 to N80.4 trillion in 2018. Cheque transactions had also reduced by 32 percent by about N2.45 billion from 7.48 billion in 2012 to 5.03 billion in 2018.
He then disclosed that financial access funds, ATMs, Agents, and Mobile Cash across each of the six cashless policy states all witnessed exponential growth.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
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