New Cash Withdrawal Policy: 1.4 million PoS Operators In Nigeria May Lose Jobs – Bank Agents Association Boss

The National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria, Victor Olojo, speaks to JOSEPHINE OGUNDEJI to Punch on the impact of the recent Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash withdrawal policy imposed on point of sale terminal operators. Read excerpts below:

How would you describe the new CBN policy which has reduced cash withdrawal limits across all channels?

To start with, AMMAN as an association that recognises the effort of CBN in trying to fix the economy, drive down inflation rate, and put in place all necessary policies and mechanisms to ensure stability in the economy, particularly getting to the point of economic recovery, which is a good agenda. However, this new policy sets us back for certain reasons. Over the past decades, mobile money bank agents across the country have been putting efforts to drive financial inclusion. We have over 1.4 million mobile money and banking agents over the country who make a living in this job. We as an association have over the years tried to align with the objectives and goals of the CBN in terms of financial inclusion, and I can tell you that many agents across the country have committed decades of their lives to go into those local government areas where banks are not present to serve and deliver financial services. The efforts of many agents have yielded positive gains for the country. Right now, we have over 60 per cent of Nigerian adults who are already financially included, which was not the case a decade ago. In the long run, we feel really disturbed by this policy of the Federal Government because the policy would render over 1.4 million Nigerians jobless, inclusive of their dependants and employees. With the support we render to small businesses, I can assure you that if you do a little research by going to the marketplace, you would see clear agents on the impact of money agents across the market. We are doing so well that we have made life very easy and meaningful for Nigerians.

How will this new cash withdrawal limit affect PoS operators’ business?

It would affect operators because Nigeria is still a cash-dominant economy, and other alternative ways of payment have not been fully embraced. The rule of mobile money agents at this time is that we bridge the gap between the banks and the Nigerian masses. This new policy states that we can only withdraw a limit as an individual, what this means is that all I have in a week to do business as a mobile money agent is N100,000. This means I am practically out of business. In the year 2021, we did a cumulative of 6.4 trillion in terms of value on PoS transactions, this year we have exceeded 6.4 trillion within the first nine months of this year, what this means is that with this policy in place, we would not be able to meet the needs of Nigerians.

-Punch

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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