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NCC, CBN sign agreement on payment system in Nigeria

… to handover 9mobile to preferred bidder in 90 days

By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA – The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC on Tuesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN on payment system in Nigeria.

•NCC Executive V.C, Umar Danbatta and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The MoU was drafted by a committee made up of representations from the NCC and the CBN which culminated in the signing of the MoU.

The two organizations expressed commitment towards driving the financial inclusion in the country as well as ensuring financial inclusion and improvement in the money mobile penetration.

Speaking at the event, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emeiefele, said: ‘‘Let me seize this opportunity to welcome the EVC of NCC to CBN and to thank the NCC for finding time to visit us in CBN for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between NCC and CBN for the payment system in Nigeria.

‘‘This is a landmark document which our teams have worked on for several months trying to put things together with the intention to see to how NCC and CBN can work together towards driving the payment system in Nigeria, reducing cash transaction and enhancing cashless operations in the country and this will also help to facilitate financial inclusion and also drive a more robust payment system in the country

‘‘I am very delighted today because with this signing, we are now very sure and certain that we will very easily improve the level of financial inclusion from the level it is today which is about 48 percent’

‘‘We set a target for ourselves that by 2020, which is in three years or below that the level of financial inclusion should increase to 80 per cent and I can assure everybody with this signing, it provides framework for licensing of payment service provider and is a framework that will also guide the working of those who are stakeholders both in the banking industry as well as the telecommunication industry not just mobile payment but the payment system in Nigeria.

‘‘I am delighted that we are witnessing this today and we look forward to many more years of close collaboration. Between the CBN and banking system on one hand and the NCC, telecommunication industry on another hand.’’

In his own remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said: ‘‘Today has witness a landmark in the digital transformation process that NCC is mandated courtesy of act establishing it.

‘‘The transformation as you are aware, targets governance and transformation of key services sector of the economy, one of such sector is the financial sector.

‘‘To me, today’s signing of the MOU is very positive statement we are making about our content to ensure digital transformation process in all sectors of the economy and I hope that we can be able to bring this same experience to bear in other key sectors of the Nigerian economy, education, transportation and other key services sectors including delivery of good governance to citizens of the country.

‘‘The NCC is committed to this transformation process which we are daily thinking of what to do and ensure we reach the desire destination by making sure our people participate in the digital economy in a way and manner that they will be able to leverage on information and Communication Technology to conduct their daily businesses.’’

On the 9Mobile acquisition, the EVC said: ‘‘The information I have for you is that an emerged bidder has been granted leave to pay the reserve price, starting with a deposit of $50 million which the emerged bidder has paid.

‘‘What remains for the preferred bidder is to pay the sum of $450 million in the next 90 days or less. And after the payment of that balance, 9mobile will be transferred to the emerged bidder which is teleology.

‘‘In the event Teleology fails to make the payment at the expiration of the deadline, then the reserved bidder will be considered, and the reserved bidder is Smile Communications.’’


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