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Cashless Economy: Lawmakers, consumers urge CBN to direct DMBs to overhaul poor e-payments platforms

Photo Collage of How Bank Customers Continue the Search for Limited Old and New Naira Notes in Lagos

*The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to direct all commercial banks to overhaul their online banking service platforms to ease e-banking, and other electronic payments channels in the economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the current Naira scarcity cum cash crunch in several parts if the economy, the House of Representatives Thursday, March 23, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to direct urgent upgrade and improvement in the electronic transaction platforms being deployed by the Deposit Money Banks (Banks) in the country.

The Federal legislators said the move is to ease the current hardship consumers of financial products and services are  experiencing in the country.

Members of House of Representatives in a session, in Abuja

ConsumerConnect learnt the lawmakers, through a motion on the burning national issue, were apparently disturbed that the ineffectiveness or difficulty in using Internet banking services across the online banking platforms of most Nigerian banks has brought untold hardship, suffering and

difficulties on Nigerians, especially in the past three months.

The Lower House of the National Assembly (NASA), therefore, urged the CBN to “direct all commercial banks in the country to immediately overhaul their existing online/electronic banking platforms for efficiency and ease of conducting electronic banking operations.”

The resolutions followed the consideration and adoption of a motion on notice brought by Hon. Sergius Ogun (Edo State) titled: “Call on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Direct all Commercial Banks to Overhaul their Online Banking Service Platforms to Ease Electronic Banking Operations.”

Hon. Ogun, in his presentation, cited Section 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and stated that it “empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly (like the Central Bank of Nigeria).

“The Central Bank of Nigeria is established under Section 1 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, Cap. C4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to issue legal tender currencies in Nigeria.”

PoS teminal and mobile money transfers also dogged by glitches

The lawmaker also cited “Section 2 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act saddles the Central Bank of Nigeria with the duty of promoting a sound financial system in Nigeria.

“In the wake of the recent naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, there has been an increase in the use of online and electronic banking services to carry out monetary transactions across the country.”

Failure of Internet banking and other e-payments channels 

The legislator, in his motion, further noted that “the use of online or Internet banking services by Nigerians in the past three months or thereabout has been characterised by varying degrees of hitches ranging from unsuccessful electronic bank transfers, point of sale (PoS) service failure and a host of others.

“Disturbed that the ineffectiveness or difficulty in using Internet banking services across the online banking platforms of most Commercial Banks in Nigeria has brought untold hardship, suffering and difficulties on Nigerians in the past three months.”

The motion expressed worries that “if nothing is done by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the commercial banks to address these difficulties or ineffectiveness, Nigerians will continue to suffer untold hardships and loss of monies to unsuccessful electronic bank transactions.”

The lawmakers’ resolutions also mandated the House Committee on Banking and Currency to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

ConsumerConnect investigations also revealed that several commercial banks are not finding it easy coping with all manner of challenges arising from the frequent downtime in e-payments operations being experienced in attaining efficient customer service delivery.

The publication Wednesday, March 22, 2023, saw huge crowds at a number of DMBs visited in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.

Angry and confused bank customers told our correspondent that the issue of poor and unreliable e-banking and other electronic payments platforms is worsening the current hardships, especially for older customers, many of whom are said to be pensioners endlessly waiting to cash their monthly payments.

They urged the authorities, particularly the CBN to improve the Naira scarcity regime cum cash crunch, arguing “after all, the 2023 General Elections are over” in the West African country.

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