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Stakeholders Assess Impact of Banking Reforms on Courier Sector

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Stakeholders in the country’s aviation sector have said that the biggest headache facing the industry is the hemorrhaging revenue earnings occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Universal Banking policy.

The stakeholders drawn from the banking, security and courier industry said that the banking reforms have greatly reduced their earnings.

They spoke at the two-day inter-agency relation forum organised by the Courier Regulatory Department (CRD), the regulatory arm of Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), recently.

Gloria Segun-Lean, managing director, Customer Care Associates Limited, said the role of the courier enterprise has reduced with the advent of banking reforms.

She said that compared to the pre-reform days, courier industry no longer carry out sales of money order, statement of account delivery, bullion van services, and safekeeping of items.

She also identified housing of banks’ off site ATMs, bank mini-branches in Nipost facilities, dispatching of banks’ and other companies AGM, of which many companies have not held AGM for the last three years, as have reduced the volume of services rendered by the courier firms.

“As a result of the banking reforms some of these functions have either been replaced or completely in limbo, leading to poor financial, social and a treat to existence of this very important part of the economy,” the guest speaker said.

She observed that aside the CBN’s policies and reform programmes, other challenges before the courier industry included delayed sectoral reform, traffic congestion, competition/poor customer service, operation of quacks and unlicenced courier operators cum “bus conductors”.

According to her, other issues leading to insignificant profit in the industry are political interferences, unfriendly and unpredictable business environment, high cost of doing business in Nigeria, poor infrastructural facilities, rising inflation and multiplicity of charges and taxes by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), local government authorities, and States.

To tackle the aforementioned challenges, she suggested courier operators develop strategic alliance with banks, total integration into the cash-less reform using the many outlets of Nipost to reach the unbanked and rural areas.

Segun-Lean also harped for survival of the courier sector based on “Integration of the money order into the cashless reform as a means of exchange; leverage on the network of outlets in providing new branches for banks and other businesses. Letting out to the public some of the abandoned or under-ultilised spaces for shopping complexes, telecoms mast constructions, etc.

“Nipost needs to liaise with banks to offer cash lodgements and withdrawal especially at weekends and public holidays at a fee. Revisit warehousing functions to the public especially manufacturing companies”.

She suggested that if about 43% Nigerians are unbanked, Nipost can establish microfinance-for-financial services to rural dwellers.

On his part, Mr. Olayemi J. B., (rtd.) deputy commissioner of Police, called on the courier firms to establish departments like security, complaints, carrier/runner, records and insurance, to enable them rejig the system.

“A courier company should have and maintain at least, at all times, an indemnity insurance cover for an amount of not less than N500,000”.

He said the essence is to restore the dignity of the practice anchored on trust, transparency, responsible officers and realizing the goals of individual companies.

Earlier, Dr. Simon Emeje, senior deputy post master general and head of CRD, said the workshop was organised to provide platform for operators, policy makers and other stakeholders to interface and suggest ways of tackling teething problems before the operators.

 


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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