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Mobile Money Growth in Sub- Saharan Africa Imminent – Reports

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Findings in separate reports released by the IMF, World Bank and GSMA support the notion that mobile money growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase substantially in the next five years.

Growth is expected from mobile-enabled platforms that will increasingly disrupt traditional value chains across the region.

The number of registered mobile money accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa is 395.7 million as at 2018 represents almost half of total global accounts, according to GSMA’s The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 report. The number of accounts is expected to increase to over 600 million by 2025.

Improvements in productivity and efficiency due to increased take-up of mobile services will bring mobile’s contribution in SSA to almost US$185-billion (9.1% of GDP) by 2023, up from current US$144.1-billion – especially in high-growth markets like Nigeria and Ethiopia where subscriber addition is expected to be concentrated.

The World Bank states that Nigeria is the largest remittance-recipient country in Sub-Saharan Africa and the sixth largest among low and middle income countries. It has reportedly received more than US$24.3-billion officially in 2018, an increase of over US$2-billion compared to 2017.

Nearly 9 in 10 registered mobile money accounts are in East and West Africa, according to GSMA. West Africa, which leads mobile subscriber penetration, is home to most of the countries with the highest remittances as a share of their GDP: The Gambia, Cabo Verde, Liberia, Senegal, Togo, Ghana, and Nigeria.

Remittances to the region is expected to continue to increase, albeit at a lower rate, to US$51-billion by 2020 after reaching an estimated US$48-billion in 2019, from US$46-billion in 2018.

It will coincide with an increase in the 23% of the region’s population (about 239 million people) that currently use the mobile internet on a regular basis and smartphones – which currently account for 39% of mobile connections – increased to two-thirds of connections.

Telcos are also expected to invest an estimated US$60-billion on network infrastructure and services by 2025 as the mobile economy supports more than 3.5 million jobs.

According to an IMF report The Rise of Digital Money, e-money is being readily adopted, driven by convenience, integration with social media, faster and cheaper cross-border transfers and efficiency.

The IMF has identified certain risks associated with rapid e-money adoption including impacting privacy, monetary policy transmission, market contestability (the emergence of large monopolies), financial integrity as well as policymaking in general, in the event of data loss.


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E-Financial

CBN Investigates 55 Companies over Forex Infractions

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Amidst sustained pressures on Nigeria’s official foreign exchange resources, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has opened investigations into foreign exchange transactions of 55 companies and individuals.

The apex bank linked them to foreign exchange deals outside the official Investors & Exporters (I&E) window.

CBN Investigates 55 Companies over Forex Infractions

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

The I&E window was created by the CBN as the legitimate platform for buying and selling of foreign currencies.

Some of the major corporate organisations in the list include Stallion Nigeria Limited, a conglomerate involved in several sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The list also includes Nigeria’s leading electronic payment company, Interswitch Nigeria Limited, as well as a leading global shipping line, CMA CGM Nigeria Shipping Limited.

Other big names in the list include Petro-Afrique Energy Services Limited, Steel Force Far East Limited, Auto Petroleum Company Limited, Cavendish Mechanicals Limited, Aquashield Oil & Marine Limited, Haitch & Elf Integrated Services Limited, Fenog Nigeria Limited, and Promasidor Nigeria Limited.


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FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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