- Every country where mobile money is successful it is led by telecoms
- Nigeria Mobile would succeed if Telecoms operators champion cashless initiatives
IT NEWS NIGERIA:
Apex financial regulator, Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) should allow Telecoms service providers lead mobile money in the country.
This is according to stakeholders at Break Fast Meeting organised by British Chamber of Commerce on Thursday in Lagos.
They argue that since Nigeria embarked on mobile money campaign some years ago telecoms operators have not been allowed to take centre stage and be key drivers of the cashless initiative.
In a detailed presentation, Airtel CEO, Segun Ogunsanya revealed that a number of countries like Kenya have taken advantage of telecoms industry to promote and enforce mobile money penetration Nigeria cannot be left behind.
“Every country where mobile money is successful it is led by telecoms.”He explained that today Nigeria can only boast of about 15,000 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) but more than 100 million active mobile subscribers can be transformed into ATMs.
“Imagine if all mobile subscribers are turned into ATM! We are the best place to make mobile money work”furthermore, he noted that First Bank of Nigeria boasts of about 700 branches.
This pales to insignificance when compared to over 100 million active subscribers that are waiting mobile money channels.100 million phone users mean 100 million potential customers, he noted, adding, it is an asset, a major distribution channels.
In a panel discussion entitled ‘The Role of Telecoms In Economic Growth’, Director of Public Affairs at Nigerian Communications Commission, Tony Ojobo said the Commission under the able leadership of Prof Umar Garba Danbatta had made it position known, adding, “when it comes to mobile money the regulator and operators are on same page.”
He however explained that that there are legacy issues why CBN has not been able to fully place trust of telecoms operators as main drivers of the federal government agenda.According to him, this issues whether telecoms should champion cashless campaign have been on for over 6 to 7 years.
He said Progress have been stalled because of regulatory and related discrepancies that must ironed out completely. He noted that CBN had argued that as long as people’s money are involved it must to regulate the telecoms.
He however challenged the Chambers to, where possible, take the matter to higher levels of Government decision makers.
On the other hand, IT NEWS learned that operators position has always been the Act that established telecoms only allows NCC is its regulator and would not accept CBN oversight. They also maintained that the monies are secure in the Banks while telecoms only provide platforms for access.
The Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting was attended by leaders in Nigeria telecoms industry.