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Scene across Nigerian banks Monday

Record crowd at the banks: Covid-19 shows cracks in ‘Many Nigerians using e-payment’ assumption

IT News Nigeria:

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown cracks in what was thought to be the majority of Nigerians using easier payment options, an observer has said.

This is according to Ms Kutu Ameji, Head of Administration, Finance & Security at Nigerian Embassy in Ireland.

There was record crowd at the banks across the country of account holders who want to withdraw their money.

She said “Nigeria’s financial and banking sector is largely untapped. And I mean, the mobile money sector. “

She added that “Covid-19 has shown cracks in what was thought to be the majority of Nigerians using easier payment options. Yesterday the 4th of May, Nigeria’s President Buhari relaxed a month-long lockdown in key major states hit by the pandemic in the country. The resulting chaos at the banks was expected but also relevationary.”

She noted that “ Crowds of thousands besieged banking premises in a bid to access cash. Per the  President’s directives, banks are to open daily from 8am to 2pm and to ensure social distancing; a directive which the banks enforced to mean only 5 persons were allowed in the banking hall per time. The crowd outside, already a large petri-dish for the virus, overwhelmed security forces and pushed their way in.””

The issue, she said, “is this: there are various ways to access cash in Nigeria without physically going to a bank: USSD, ATMs, POS-cash withdrawals, customers can even open bank accounts online & on their phones. It is a mystery then and an opportunity to see hordes of customers at the bank with an urgent need to access cash at a building. Investors should view that urgency and that crowd as a great opportunity to obtain mobile money licenses, especially telcos””.

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