By AMAKA ABAYOMI
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to begin full implementation of electronic payments of suppliers, all form of taxes, salaries and pensions, by both private and public organizations with more than 50 employees/pensioners in the country, on Monday, 9th January, 2012.
In a circular signed by the Acting Director, Banking and Payments Department, Mr. G. I. Emokpae, CBN also directed all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to “dishonor instructions with schedules delivered via unsecured methods such as flash drives, compact discs or e-mail attachments with effect from the above date.”
According to the circular, as part of efforts to support the initiative, the DMBs were implored to properly educate and advise their customers on the adoption and implementation procedures for an end-to-end e-payment.
Emokpare then said the purpose of the fora being organised nationwide was to enlighten all stakeholders on the approved guidelines on the operation of the e-payment system, and to also seek their support for its successful implementation.
The sensitisation campaigns were organised in major towns of the six-geopolitical zones including, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Gombe, Kaduna and the Federal Capital Territory.
Emokpare explained prior to the Abuja forum that “the Central Bank has been in the fore-front of promoting e-payments in the country.
In this regard, the Bank recently released three important frameworks on electronic payments to guide both the public and private sector stakeholders.
“They include: guidelines on electronic payments of government suppliers in Nigeria; guidelines on electronic payments of all forms of taxes and guidelines on electronic payments of salary and pension in Nigeria.”
Also, the Deputy Governor of CBN in charge of Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo, had at a stakeholders’ programme organized by the bank on the e-payment policy in Abuja restated the apex bank’s commitment to embark on the implementation of the policy in order to begin to explore its potential benefits to banking system and the economy.
“We want to eradicate dominance of cash and paper-based activities in the economy, manual operations and delays in clearing time of cheques, infrastructural bottlenecks, sharp practices and insider abuses, shortage of technical personnel and low confidence in the banker’s clearing system” he said.
In his remarks, 84 per cent of public sector organizations were prepared to adopt the system, and that the long-term vision of the monetary authorities is to achieve an efficient payment system whereby virtually all transactions are done without recourse to manual option.