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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Experts agree, e-payment has economic benefits


Experts who spoke at the breakfast forum held recently in Lagos agreed that Nigeria needs to join the global trend in electronic payment system, otherwise tagged as Cashless Society.

The event organized by Infotech Network and Technology Africa in collaboration with Central Bank of Nigeria.

Some of the panelist at the occasion include Mr. Alex Nwabu of M-payment, Mr. Sola Bickersteth of One Network, Director, Licensing and International Relations at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mrs. Lolia Emakpore, who represented the EVC of NCC and Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson as well as Mrs. Onajite Regha, the chief executive officer of E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (ePPAN) among others.

For the former chief executive of SmartPay Nigeria, Mr. Alex Nwabu, it is high time that e-cheques are accepted in the sector to aid the cashless society initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He urged Nigerians to embrace the electronic payment system as that is what every other country is doing to reduce the risk of cash.

He believes that the statement by CBN would transform the economic payment system in the country, thus going beyond mere political statement to economic benefit for the citizens.

Mrs. Emokpare in her remarks said that the government through the NCC is collaborating actively with CBN to ensure a seamless adaptation by the populace, noting that the initiative is that of CBN, but the government would give all the needed support required to make the project a success both from the telecommunications regulatory aspect and the federal government through the Ministry of Communications Technology.

These efforts, she said were geared towards ensuring that the desire by CBN to change the mindset of the Nigerian people as far as electronic payment and transaction are concerned will pave the way for the economic benefits to come to the people by increasing e-payment involvement of the people.

This, she said, could be strengthened by ensuring that the networks are equal to the task of carrying and transmit adequate information promptly as required for the initiative to succeed.

The chief executive officer of e-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Onajite Regha said that on their part, they have commenced interaction with the market traders on the benefits of electronic payment and transactions.

The outcome, she said, is that the traders in over 22 markets around Lagos have expressed interest in being part of the cashless revolution.

Equally, she said, they have requested that Point of Sale (POS) terminals be made available to them.

The discussion, moderated by Mr. Emma Okonji, has as its theme: Evolving a Cashless Society in Nigeria: Political Statement or Economic Benefit.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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