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Nigeria ranks high in ATM usage despite shortfalls

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By Prince Osuagwu

Renowned technology expert and Chief Executive Officer of the Computer Warehouse Group, Mr. James Agada has said that a higher percentage of Nigerians make use of the ‘automated teller machines’ (ATMs) compared to their counterparts in Ghana and U.K, despite the fact that only 15,000 out of the 60,000 installed ATMS in the country are functional.

Agada who spoke at an ICT editors’ workshop organised by his company recently, said the average ATM in Nigeria dispenses thrice the number of notes in Ghana and ten times the number of notes in U.K.

He added that “by accepted proportion, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria, we should have at least 60,000 ATMs installed but only 15,000 ATMs are available to serve the teeming population.   Yet, despite the shortfall in ATMs, the number of people with ATM cards keep increasing by the day and Nigeria still ranks higher in ATM usage.”

He however admitted that ATMs  come with peculiar issues, but also argued that these problems are sometimes overstated.”The core issue we have with the ATMs are that we don’t have enough of them and the few around are overwhelmed.”

“As far as ATM security is concerned, Nigeria is more secured compared to places like the U.S.A. or U.K. In Nigeria we have many measures being deployed to curb the problem of ATM-related fraud. We also have PIN-Shield, security cameras, mirrors, encryption technology, anti-phishing devices fixed on the ATM and we are not resting on our oars.”

For him, no technology is completely impregnable, because “there’s nowhere you carry out transactions, without the risk of some likely fraudulent potential. You will recall that the Central Bank of Bangladesh was scammed and lost $80million to fraud which has gone untraced till date. So if the system of the Central Bank can be compromised by these fraudsters, no one is spared.” Bearing this reality in mind, the truth is there is no absolute security because these technologies keep evolving; hence it is key to ensure that the good technology solutions stay ahead of the bad.” He argued

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