By Peter Egwuatu
The Central Bank ofÂ Nigeria (CBN) has berated some cash handling services company for being underfunded, inefficient and uncoordinated in the provision of cash-in-transit and currency sorting services in Nigeria.
The apex bank and the Nigerian Police force also warned banks against the use of substandard armoured vehicles to carry money within the country.
Speaking at the launch of the Association of Cash Managers of Nigeria (ACMAN) in Lagos last week, Director, CurrencyÂ Operations Department of the CBN, Alhaji Mohammad Nda, said, it is regrettable to note that the cash-in-transit and currency sorting services in Nigeria are limited in scope and restricted to few cities in Nigeria, under funded, inefficient, unregulated and uncoordinated.
The challenge is to how to harness the potentials of the companies, as well as admit new entrants into the sub-sector to provide cash handling support services to the CBN and deposit money banks.â€
He further disclosed thatÂ banks have been instructed to use standard armoured vehicle to move their money. In his words, â€œ For currency distribution, the deployment of inappropriate bullion vehicles is prevalent. The importance of the deployment of the appropriate armoured vehicles for cash- in transit operations cannot be over-emphasized, especially in view of the increase in the rate of robbery attacks on specie currency movements and the sophistication of the criminals.â€
Nda, noted that investment in cash handling services all over the world is capital intensive and urged the members of ACMAN to look at various sources of funding to be able to meet the minimum requirements of paid up capital for various operations of currency management systems.
Mr. Adebayo Adeoye, retired Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police encouraged banks toÂ use sophisticated armoured vehicle that will help protect Nigerian citizens, and ward off armed robbers and would be rebels.
He advised banks not to use substandard armoured vehicle in carrying cash but to use sophisticated armoured vehicle that can stop AK 47, M-16 and even armoured piercing rounds at close range.
According to him, â€œArmoured vehicle is the main thing all over the world and Nigeria should embrace it. I am happy that the CBN has come out with the order asking banks to use armoured vehicles in carryingÂ cash as it is the best international practice.â€
Also, Mr. Marvin Akpoyibo, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State encouraged ACMAN members to use sophisticated armoured vehicles for the movement of cash across the country.
According to him, â€œ We embraced the use of armoured vehicles 100 per cent, as this will prevent policemen who are on escort and banksâ€™ staff from untimely death caused by armed robbers. So many banks have not complied with the directive to use armoured vehicle for cash movement, some still use convention patrol vehicle. The delay in the implementation is quite dangerous for the policemen as the banks take care of their own deceased staff that are involved in robbery attack. Within two years no bank in Lagos been successfully attacked.â€
In his speech at the occasion, Charles Nwodo Jnr. Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, XL Management Services Group, encouraged ACMAN members to support the CBNâ€™s policy toÂ license and appropriately regulate the operations of Cash in Transit (CIT) and cash processing companies and outsourcing CBNâ€™s distribution and processing of currency.
Chairman and President of ACMAN, Mr. Tunde Dabiri and Chief (Mrs.) Henrietta Vannni stated that the cash industry was no longer on the defensive mind set that it was in before now, stressing the need to go on the offensive and recover lost grounds. Dabiri said, â€œ Nigeria economy cash driven. Members of ACMAN operate within the Nigerian cash supply chain. unfortunately, these are also trying times for the banks and each and every one of them must now go back to see how best to address the twin issues of costs and risks inherent in carrying out the business of banking.â€
The membership of ACMAN, according to Vanni is expected to increase from 16 to 20 as four new members have indicated their interest.â€ In just two years ACMAN has been able to achieve a few milestones. Some of these include: companies offering cash management services, have been brought under one umbrella giving the industry a more organised structure; the Association has been accorded recognition by the CBN, regulators of the financial sector among others.