The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), to improve and increase agents’ footprint in Nigeria to bring the service closer to the excluded.
The Director, Payment Systems Management, Mr Samuel Okojere, made the call at the second edition of the Association of Licensed Mobile Payment Operators (ALMPO) conference in Lagos.
ALMPO is an umbrella body which comprises mobile payment operators licensed by the apex bank to drive delivery of efficient mobile payment and promote financial inclusion in Nigeria.
The theme of the conference is: “Beyond Payments”.
Okejere said: “Not withstanding the progress made by Mobile Money Adoption, we have a lot on ground to cover in Nigeria as a whole.
“The level of exclusion is still far from national target, our challenge is more pronounced in the part of the country with insurgency and other skemishes.
” It is necessary that we improve the agent footprints across the country to bring the service closer to the excluded.
“This presents the opportunity for mobile operators to make their operations count in many places to have highly inclusive financial system in Nigeria,” he said.
Okejere was represented by the Assistant Director, Payments System Management of CBN, Mrs Aisha Isa-Olatinwo.
The Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability, CBN, Mrs Aisha Ahmad, said over 100 million mobile line subscribers were excluded in the country’s financial system.
“I am aware of the several positive efforts of the Central Bank to support mobile money penetration.
” So, the mobile money conference is very important for the well being of our nation because we understand that the target, which is the market, says needs this service more than anybody.
“Records have shown that we have over 180 million lines, although, some of us have more than one line.
“But, that notwithstanding, Nigeria Communications Commission has said we have over 100 million unique numbers.
” So that means if mobile money must work effortlessly, you have over 100 million subscribers to capture,” she said.
Ahmad was also represented by the Assistant Director, Payments System Management of CBN, Mrs Aisha Isa-Olatinwo.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of BlueTag Group, Mr Uzo Eziukwu, said mobile money operations in Nigeria had come of age.
“The momentum of agents clustered developments, customers adoption has reached cruise control and consumers over the counter transactions are at all time high.
” So I think in 2020, we will see an increase in innovation, strategic alliance, regulators alignment around the different prepositions such as micro credit and savings, micro pensions among others,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Chinedu Onuoha, the Chairman of ALMPO, said the theme of the conference aptly captured the general direction of the industry.
“We are of the opinion and rightfully so, that for the objectives of financial inclusion to be realised, we must go beyond payments, as we try to attract more people into formal financial services.
” We are aware that the financial needs of the average citizen are much more than pay and receive. People want to save and earn interest.
“They want to participate in pensions; they need some form of insurance, and many more.
” We also know that for all of this to be realised, there must be adequate security and trust in the system, ” he said.