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e-Payment: N/A Plans New Law to Protect System

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Suddenly conscious of the dangers of practicing electronic payment (e-payment) system without legislation, the National Assembly has begun moves to put in place relevant laws to protect the implementation of the system, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek can now reveal.
e-Payment is becoming a commonly used payment method in a wide variety of transactions and may be used in such transactions as banking, utility bill payment, tax payment, and consumer purchases as well as government transactions.
The e-payment concept was meant to check fraudulent practices among banks, government agencies and the business/real sector of the economy but the problems associated with the programme are now worrisome. For instance, there are no policies in place to guide transactions.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that electronic payments are generally subject to the same contract laws as more traditional payment methods and that clearly leaves the system in hands of lethal gang of manipulators.
Also, at present Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), switching companies and commercial banks are the institutions responsible for the needed perfection in the e-payment system while the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) is just a fringe player.
Luckily, the Anti money Laundering and Cyber Crime Coalition, formed by a body of members of the two chambers of the National Assembly has taken the first major step at ensuring that e-payment is available, accountable, accessible, scalable, and comprehensive.
Bassey Etim, member, House of Representatives and coordinator of the coalition, said the body came together with the objective of creating awareness about the dangers of Money Laundering, Cyber crimes and other ICT- related crimes as well as work towards formulating appropriate legal framework to effectively combat the menace.
It was formed in 2008 in consideration of the rising incidences of money laundering cases and the spate of cyber-related crimes and the attendant negative effects on the national economy.
Support has also come from the executive arm of government with, Mr. Ibrahim Dankwambo, accountant general of the federation urging the National Assembly to expedite action on the important piece of legislation.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that e-payment legislation will address some of the common problems of the system including late return or no response in respect of applied funds, use of different IT platforms by different banks resulting in  lack of interconnectivity, non uniformity of account numbers as different banks use different digits and none naira based transactions.
The law will also address other obstacles including lack of awareness of the benefits inherent in it, low appreciation of ICT, low level of education, uneven spread of available ICT infrastructure and epileptic power supply among others.
The place of the Nigerian Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) will also be clearly defined under the law to put paid to claims and counter charges between the two.
Elsewhere, Dr. Chris Uwaje, president, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (Ispon) proposed “ National Software Development ACT to establish the National Software Commission, National Software Product Procurement Accreditation Board (NSPPAB) and relevant agencies” to help Nigeria bridge the digital divide and become an economic giant.
He also called for “Electronic Commerce and Digital Transaction and Digital Signature Act to regulate electronic commerce and digital transactions. Digital Copyrights and Cyber-Regulation Act to protect digital copyrights and regulate cyber activities and Software Standards Act to regulate Software standards, performance and security.”


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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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Inlaks CEO, Femi Adeoti, Wins Top CEOs & Next Bulls Award

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Femi Adeoti, managing director and CEO, Inlaks, Africa’s foremost Information Technology and Infrastructure solutions provider in West Africa, has been announced as a winner of the 2020 Top CEOs & Next Bulls Awards organised by Business Day Media Limited in collaboration with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The MD/CEO whilst receiving the award dedicated it to the management and staff of Inlaks for their relentless service even during these trying times.

He also appreciated the board of the organization that drove changes within the organisation particularly in the pandemic which led to the company being recognized and the customers who have continued to support Inlaks while being ambassadors of all Inlaks’ solutions.

The CEO and Next Bulls awards, the sixth in its series, recognizes the CEOs of listed companies creating competitive shareholder value through sound strategy, disciplined execution and world class governance. In addition, it celebrates chief executives of quoted companies that have demonstrated the most impressive gains in both share price and service delivery.

Themed “Advancing Against all Odds,” this year’s award particularly recognised businesses that have been thriving in spite of the global harsh economic realities.

According to the organisers of the award, the indomitable Next Bulls are the CEOs raging forward at a time when many businesses are choosing to retreat, thus acknowledging Adeoti’s good leadership in the area of corporate governance, innovation and service delivery.

The CEOs award celebrates the CEOs of successful, privately-owned indigenous companies built by Nigerians, led by Nigerians and poised to lead their categories on the continent.

Established in 1982, Inlaks is Africa’s leading Information Technology systems integrator with presence in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Cameroon. As solutions provider, it offers core banking, agency banking, fraud management, cyber-security, cloud, data centre, enterprise risk management and software solutions.

Part of the criteria for selecting winners of this year’s awards held virtually on September 5, are stock price appreciation, Profit After Tax (PAT) growth, an unblemished regulatory compliance record, and positive marketplace reputation among customers in the period under review.

Winners are also selected based on significant interest shown by active and informed investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to invest in their stock should their boards ever decide to take them public.


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Transcorp Hotels Hard Hit by COVID-19, Mulls Restructuring

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The novel COVID-19 pandemic has caused the African Hotel and Tourism industry to lose over $50bn in revenue.

Transcorp Hotels Hard Hit by COVID-19, Mulls Restructuring

Dupe Olusola, MD, Transcorp Hotels

Amidst this, Transcorp Hotels Plc has suffered unprecedented losses and is looking to restructure the business strategy of its hotels and optimize its operations.

The management of Transcorp Hotels Plc has announced that it will be taking steps to ensure business continuity in the wake of the losses recorded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To this end, the hotelier is diversifying its portfolio and reducing its workforce as part of its cost management initiatives.

Mrs Dupe Olusola, managing director, Transcorp Hotels Plc, disclosed this during a Press Conference on Thursday saying “The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015. The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than 5%.”

According to her “Despite the losses incurred we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100% salary payment to our over 900 employees in March and April. We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans. We suspended further commitment to buy fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs. Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive. To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40%, and our reward system will be optimized.”

Mrs Olusola further disclosed that negotiations are ongoing to ensure that our colleagues who will be impacted are adequately compensated given the peculiarities of the economy at this time.

A health insurance package to reduce their health burden costs, especially during the pandemic, amongst other payment settlements, will be activated.

Equally, all Executives of Transcorp Hilton Abuja have now taken a pay cut.

As one of the leading hospitality brands in Africa, Transcorp Hotels Plc has stated its commitment to uphold service standards and ensure that all guests continue to experience the warmth and hospitality that it is known for.


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LCCI Announces Date for Virtual Edition of ICTEL Expo

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the premier Chamber of Commerce and a leading voice in the organised private sector (OPS) in Nigeria, is set to host the 6th edition of the Information, Communication, Technology and Telecommunications (ICTEL) Expo.

The tech event is scheduled to take place virtually on Tuesday 22ndand Wednesday 23rd September at 9am daily. To this end, interested participants are urged to register online via www.ictelexpo.com.ng

Muda Yusuf, director general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said: “The ICTEL EXPO is positioned to be a veritable platform for both operators and regulators to network, showcase and explore with technology with the view to repositioning the ICT sector of the economy.”

Yusuf added “that this year’s edition promises to be the best ever in the series with the theme “Exploring Opportunities in the Digital Economy” This is intended to create a platform to discuss strategies for economic diversification and business sustainability with particular focus on ICT, especially with the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. There would also be virtual conferences and exhibition during the two-day event.

Yusuf also emphasized that relevant agencies and departments of Government will be exhibiting and attending to other exhibitors and participants.

He stated that the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies that have confirmed attendance to participate are Ministry of Communications; Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) amongst others.

In addition, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar GarbaDanbatta, are expected as Special Guests.

Mrs. Funke Opeke, managing director, MainOne Cable and chairman, Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan, is expected to deliver the Keynote Address on the first day.

While Mr. Victor Eburajolo, deputy group managing director, Kewalram Group, will be delivering the Keynote Address on the second day at the virtual Expo.

Yusuf stated that “so far, so good the excitement that the virtual Expo has generated has been phenomenal and we are indeed happy about it.”


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