CBN to issue agency banking framework in December

In Business & Economy

The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will issue the draft framework of agency banking in December in a bid to increase the growth of financial inclusion.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, stated this on Thursday, at the EfINA workshop.

He said, “We are working on a number of things. For example, the number of agents, the relationship among the telecommunications companies and some other things. But by December, we should issue the draft framework.”

Agency banking refers to the delivery of financial services outside conventional bank branches. It entails the use of non-bank retail outlets that rely on technologies such as point-of-sale terminals, mobile phones, amongst others.

Speaking on the financial inclusion drive in the country, he said there had been some improvements in the move to drive financial inclusion but added that there was still a long way to go.

He said, “We still have some issues like access to financial services and access to the right type of product. The issue of the economic environment is another problem because you need to earn something before you can think of saving. Therefore, we need to look at financial inclusion within the context of the overall economic policy and development.

“Two things are going to be critical, going forward. The first is that we need to look very strongly at the nature and quality of government spending. If 70 per cent of Nigerians live in rural areas, our government needs to get more money into rural areas and less of it in Abuja and the state capitals. Secondly, the banks need to take certain risk; it’s not enough to say you are afraid of a sector when you have not even had any experience there. So you need to innovate and look for new ways of lending out money.”

The CBN boss noted that deposit money banks had started a process of unique identification, saying, “The process is ongoing. When we are through, every single human being that has an account with a bank will have a biometric record and it will be centralised. If you do fraud in one bank, you can’t go and present yourself in another bank as someone else.”

On the cash-less policy, Sanusi added, “We started this year with about 11, 000 Point of Sale terminals in the whole of Lagos State. Today, we have about 150, 000 terminals. We started mobile banking effectively this year, we’ve moved from moving N20m a month on telephone to N4bn a month. We have huge transactions going on the Automated Teller Machines. All the figures are moving up. We have a comprehensive survey that we are presenting to the bankers in December 7. We will try to look at all the learning points and we will try to work on it before we roll out

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