The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said that the country has recorded an impressive growth in the electronic payments system in the last eight years. Emefiele who said this at the inauguration of the payments system strategy board, payment scheme boards and initiative working groups over the weekend in Lagos noted that the CBN’s efforts to ensure that Nigerians move away from cash economy had been progressive, particularly through the Cash-Less programme.
Emefiele noted that it was important to deepen the use of e-payments in the country as a major economic force within Africa and because it had become an active player in the global economy.
The CBN governor said that the country would continue to participate actively in payment system in accordance with global best practices.
It would be recalled that in March 2007, the CBN launched the Payment System Vision 2020 (PSV2020), to transform the nation’s payment system.
His words, ‘’This programme started in 2007 and some progress have been made through the cashless initiative by making sure that Nigerians move away from cash economy into a cashless economy. I think we have made some progress in that director and what we are trying to do is to further deepen this initiative and try to see how we could further eliminate the use of cash in our system. Here, what we are saying is if you want to make a bill payment, you want to do anything, we should begin to see ourselves as an economy that will do without cash.
‘’We also need to reduce the use of cash, cheques but embrace electronic payments system and get as many people as possible who are currently excluded to begin to be included. That is why you will find that the membership of the board and technical committee set up cut across not only the banking system but government and private institutions. We have made some significant achievements so far in this journey but lot still remains to be done.”
He said the CBN had been able to record some achievements which include the implementation of Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN), adding that the initiative had led to the deployment of new RTGS that was built on the Society for worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) messaging standard.
Emefiele said the initiative also included the introduction of Cash-Less policy and deployment of the Scrip less Securities Settlement System (SSSS), among others.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor, Operations, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, said the inauguration was part of the CBN’s efforts aimed at transforming the nation’s payment system.
Barau, who was represented by Mrs Sarah Alade, Deputy Governor, Economic Policies Directorate said that a functioning national payment system was essential for an efficient financial sector.
He reiterated that it would increase the confidence in the banking sector as well as foster economic development.
‘’Since the implementation of the PVS 2020 initiative in collaboration with the banking community and other stakeholders, Nigeria has witnessed an impressive growth in electronic payments system. It has also led to a steady shift from the dominance of cash payment,’’ he added.
Barau recalled that in 2012, the Nigeria Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) stood at N13.6 trillion in 2012 and rose to N14.6 trillion representing an increase of 7.5 per cent, stressing that the Point of Sales (POS) recorded N48 billion in 2012 and went up to N312 billion in 2014 representing an increase of 550 per cent.
The deputy governor added that internet transactions known as the WEB rose from N31.5 billion in 2012 to N65.6billion in 2014, representing 108 per cent
According to him, the Nigeria Interbank Payment (NIP) increases from N3.8 trillion in 2012 to N19.9trillion in 2014 with a growth of 423 per cent .
Besides, he said that the mobile money rose from N3.5 trillion in 2012 to N296.9 billion.
‘’We are aware of the tremendous effort made, the large investment of funds and human capital by your respective organisations in ensuring the success we have achieved so far concerning our payments system.
‘’We would like to extend our gratitude and thanks to all the role players for making it possible for the dream to become a reality,’’ Barau said.(NAN)